Friday, November 09, 2007

When it goes right

I don't usually pick my children up from school. After all, I work full time and they are teenagers. However, yesterday I was working at home and, at around about the end of the school day, the wind suddenly began to blow a gale and the rain came down in stinging torrents. I took pity and went to collect my younger son (the older one had a catch up class). Just as well, because, when I got there, one of his current tormentors was circling like a shark (how does a child get to have such empty eyes at only thirteen?)

In the car on the short journey home, we were chatting about bullies and what makes them become bullies when, suddenly my son volunteered, "Maths was so cool today!" When I asked him why, he said, "I learnt something."

He then launched into an impassioned explanation about the three different ways he knew to solve simultaneous equations (elimination, transposition and a third one I now can't remember). He said that, of the three, two were dead easy but he couldn't figure out transposition. Since that was my preferred method of solving them when I was at school, there followed a discussion about the merits or otherwise of each method. It was brief, but we really connected.

When your daily questions about how school was are met with variations of "meh," it can become a little wearing. To get anything more detailed than that I have to ask targeted questions about certain pieces of homework or specific issues. So this was like a breath of fresh air. For once, my son could see what it is about learning that lights my fire.

It was just a small hiatus before we each delved back into the things we had to do, and I don't think he even begins to know how profoundly it touched me, but I could have walked on air.


Anonymous said...

I totally enjoyed your expose about bullies and the circling like a shark, etc. I'm prepping for a workshop about blogs and already have recommended your site to colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Brian: Thanks. Glad that I have touched on a topic that has relevance to you, even though we work in such different fields.