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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why We All Should Have Paid More Attention in Math Class

My oldest son is in first grade this year (I know, I can't believe I'm old enough to have a kid in first grade either!). He is, of course, learning math. While he's still mastering addition and subtraction sometimes I find myself being my dad and trying to use more advanced math to help my son understand what he's being taught.

Yeah, it didn't work when my dad did it and shockingly it still doesn't work today. But that's beside the point.

Because math has been on my mind somewhat lately and because my thoughts have a horrible tendency to wander I caught myself thinking about fractions.

Now, I've never been a fan of fractions. I could work with them in elementary and middle school with minimal use of expletives but I've always been a decimals guy. While thinking about my sincere dislike of fractions the term "common denominator" sudden surfaced from the depths of my subconscious.

As the shock of the sudden recollection wore off I lightning bolt shot across my mind. It wasn't just one of those typical lightning bolts but what I call a "Denver lightning bolt" (I lived in Denver when I was a kid and I've never seen lightning anywhere else as awesome as it is in Denver, see the picture below).

The flash of lightning caused a light bulb to go off and suddenly I realized that there is a common denominator that links all families (for those like me that had no special affinity for fractions a common denominator is a value that all denominators in a set of fractions have in common and makes them able to relate to one another). Love.

All families have one thing in common: love. Love is the common denominator.

Ideally all families would feel and enjoy love all of the time but, unfortunately, that's occasionally not the case. However, mothers love their children. Husbands love their wives. Children love their parents. Siblings love each other. Grandparents and aunts and uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews love one another.

I was also recently reminded by a friend from college that families aren't just people to whom we're related. Families also consist of close friends, neighbors, mentors, and others about whom we care and who care about us.

Simply put, families are founded in and perpetuated through love. 

Therefore, what's the one element present in all families? You got it! It's our common denominator: love.

Maybe life is really all about fractions. I guess I should have paid more attention in math class.

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