May 29th, 2008


Back when Syd was little and my full-time job, someone asked me if I thought I was wasting my education. Presumably, whoever was asking thought I was and because my brain is faulty as well as merciful, I don’t remember who it was and so can’t embarrass him or her publicly. Since virtually no one I knew at that time had kids (or a spouse for that matter), I am pretty sure that the question came from complete lack of experience.

Yesterday I got to review fifth grade math. You’d think that having completed it once, I could rest in peace. I’ve already revisited it once with Syd and now I get to do it again with T.R. I am happy to say that the habits of algebra are strong and I can demonstrate how to manipulate the formula for computing the circumference of a circle. I can even draw a diagram of a circle indicating which parts are which for those who may occasionally forget the difference between a radius and a diameter. (God help me when he gets to trigonometry, however! My own favorite version of Cookie Monster’s favorite song is “C is for Calculus. That’s good enough for me…”)

This morning, T.R. got to see education in action as we continue to read The Once and Future King. Arthur has decided on the idea of a round table for his knights. Kay says it is impossible to get a table big enough. Merlyn offers the formula for the circumference, which is, as we suspected, 2πr. It is not often that the universe so kindly reinforces T.’s homework, but I am truly grateful.

I also got to review French 1 this morning while Syd was filling in his workbook. M. Prosek and Mme. Kulstein would be proud to know that I remember my past participles and that I am passing them on to future generations.

So, no, I don’t think my education has been wasted. In fact, I wish I had more so that I could answer questions about obscure European leaders, the workings of telephones, and the films Marlon Brando. I have to refer the kids to their dad, Brent, Wikipedia, and IMDB more than I would like.

I hope the person who asked that question long ago did not waste his or her education.