Four Tidbits Make Up a Day

A couple of weeks ago, I had to report to someone at work that the soda machine wasn’t accepting money. It wasn’t taking it and not returning it, but she still had to call the vending company and also post a sign that it had been called in. When I saw a similar sign today on the candy machine next to the soda machine, I sent her an e-mail suggesting that the soda machine was clearly a bad influence on the snack machine, and had she considered moving them to opposite corners of the room? Also, I suggested to her, no Little League games for either until they had learned their lessons. This apparently hit her just right had cause spontaneous giggles the rest of the afternoon.

Waiting for a haircut at the Supercuts in Tomball, TX, I noticed a poster of some singer who’s a client, on stage with her band. The hairstylists were perplexed that I noticed that the guitarists were all playing left-handed, making me wonder if the image was reversed.

Waiting for my car’s oil to be changed at the Jiffy Lube down the street, I listened to a grandfather and his fourth- or fifth-grade granddaughter try to make sense of some homework on absolute values in math. His mistake was that he was interpreting the vertical bars as white space instead of reading it as “the absolute value of x,” for example. I spoke up and was able to explain to her (and him) what the question was about (whether if x>y, it was always/sometimes/never true that |x|>|y|).  She understood my explanation; he was grateful that someone understood it and could explain it to others.

Still on the math theme, while dining at Olive Garden tonight, I had the misfortune of watching a mother berate her first-grade(?) daughter about missing some easy math problems, such as finding the number that added to itself equalled 6. The father and the older sister across the table in the booth watched helplessly. That’s one kid who will grow up hating math and maybe school in general unless she gets a teacher who will counter mom’s intensity.

And, no, I didn’t have dessert at Olive Garden, even if they have great desserts.


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