Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long Division

"Yes, it is complicated. Yes, the format of the process changes a little from what you have been doing and the steps get involved. But they are routine steps, taken in the same order each time. Each step, taken, in itself, is simple. No secrets, no surprises, just do the steps."

"Please, do not set your pencil down and stare out the window between each step. It drives me crazy! Keep moving, complete one step, move on to the next step, with the pencil in your hand."

Is there irritation, impatience in my voice? I try to be patient, I really do. If it just didn't take him so long.

He does concept math. Since he was little he understood the twenty-three"ness" of a number. To him, twenty-three plus eighteen is calculated in terms of the quantities, the values of those numbers. We "normal" people think, three plus eight, put down the one, carry the one, add one, two and one to get forty-one. He would see the twenty-three and the eighteen and "see" what they would be together. Actually, I have no idea how he sees it, but he figures it out. His process is difficult to transfer to the steps of long division, keeping the columns lined up and taking the steps in order.

How many times do I do the same thing? All the intentions in the world will not get the job done. I can visualize an end result, but how to get between here and there? That becomes a muddle. All I can see is the mess and the confusion and the random"ness" of it all. I have to stop, take each piece or each step or each day one at a time, and do what needs to be done. That is all. And stop staring out the window. Keep the pencil in my hand.

Take the steps, one after another. Don't get sidetracked, distracted. Then the job will get done.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a life lesson in long division? I can grasp that! I needed this today, just keep doing each step, don't stare out the window. Thanks!