Posts Tagged ‘mental math’

?#19 from My Sister’s Jar ~ Missing Talent

September 12, 2008

One talent I wish I had is ________________________ because ________________________.

Ooooh, another toughy.  There’s lots of activities or skills that I cannot do… like being a mechanic, or a doctor, or anything involving leaving an airplane while it’s still flying…. but a talent…. that’s a hard one.  I wish I could stay on task more at home with the kids and school… but is that a talent?  I don’t think so. 

Oh, I’ve got it.  I wish I had the talent of doing math in my head BECAUSE I can’t get past any problem with more than one step.  If you ask me to multiply, no problem, unless it involves carrying or two digit numbers.  By the time I’ve got the ones digit done and start on the tens digit… I’ve forgotten the answer to the ones place.  I’ve self-named it misplaced intelligence.  I can do it on paper, but in my head….  forget it. 

When my son Aus was eight years old and at least a year ahead in math, he asked me why I have to get out the math teacher’s guide to correct the problems he does in his head.  I refrained from saying, “Shut up!”  I explained that he got the remembering past the ones digit gene that I missed out on.  He’s so much like my brother…. both numbers nerds.  How anyone could do mental math that fast is beyond me.  Let’s just go get a milkshake and forget the whole thing.

My husband is also quite adept at numeration activities as well.  We were in a children’s clothing store years ago and they were having a sale where the tags had different colored dots on them, translating to different percentages off the marked price.  I can do 50%, but I’m a bit slow at any other discount.  So I was asking Rick, “What’s 30% off $7.50?” and many other percents and amounts.  He would repeat the question and then give the answer to the penny every time.  I cannot tell you how proud I was of my brilliant husband.  Finally he couldn’t give the answer without laughing…. I looked up at him to see what was so humorous and he pointed at a huge sign on the wall with all the answers.  Brother.