It was a bit on the muggy side this evening, as summers between the storms are wont to be. Thus, I found myself in the nearby Gas King, waiting in line to purchase a slush. Ahead of me were two young teens of a similar mind -- the iced beverage was clearly their primary objective, and now the gas station attendant was pointing out to the two girls how much change they had left over to buy various gummy candies and the like.

While they pondered their options, I quietly paid for my drink. The cashier was a young man, certainly no more than twenty. He had a short brush cut that made his ears look a bit too large, but it suited him well enough. On my way out, though, one of the girls turned to him and asked, "What's half of fifty-four?"

The calculator was right there on the countertop. Even without the aid, he could have just told them the answer. Instead, he asked them a question in return. One that would help them work out the problem for themselves.

"What's half of fifty?"

At that point, I left. I'd already heard all I needed to hear to know that there was something yet worth saving in the world.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Ah, math education.

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.