The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

March 26, 2013

Jim Bailey: Looking for a math tutor? Try my 10-year-old grandson

An ice cream sandwich box can hold 216 cubic centimeters in volume. The dimensions of an ice cream sandwich are 1 cm x 9 cm x 4 cm. How many ice cream sandwiches can fit in the box? (a) 36, (b) 14, (c) 6, (d) 5

Problems like this are no problem for a group of fourth-graders at Maxwell Intermediate School in Hancock County. One of them is my grandson, Ronnie Roberts, 10. They competed with fifth- and sixth-graders in the regional Math Bowl at Sugar Creek Elementary, and they beat all comers.

That wasn’t all. When scores were tallied from all the regionals, not only was the Maxwell team the second best in Indiana but was state champion at the fourth-grade level.

Our daughter Ruth, his proud mom, was there for the Math Bowl. She watched as the kids spouted off the answers with little hesitation. “Sadly, I knew very few of the answers,” she admitted. “My son is smarter than me…”

The Math Bowl is sponsored by the Indiana Association of School Principals in conjunction with Purdue University. Up to 20 students are on a team, comprised of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. They are chosen based on their Math Bowl test score and teacher recommendations, the team formed in January and practicing after school twice a week until the contest in early March. The competition consists of four rounds with students working in teams of three.

“My son is a freak of nature in math,” Ruth quipped. “I humbly admit his math skills did NOT come from me!”

Nor me. When I was his age I had to spend most of my class time laboriously working my math problems while the other students were doing other subjects. My language skills and spelling were exceptional, but when it came to math I had to figuratively sit and turn a crank in my brain to grind out the answer to 6x9 plus 5 divided by 7 or one-fourth divided by one-half.

Bonnie, on the other hand, is pretty good at math. So is Ruth’s twin sister Becky, becoming an accountant. Sarah does pretty well as a school cashier. But Ruth didn’t like math. And their older sister Rachel literally sat and cried when her mom tried to help her with high school accounting (So what is Rachel doing for a living? Data entry for Cincinnati Financial Insurance Co.).

So-called common wisdom is that boys do better in math than girls. If so, Ronnie fits the mold. His cousin LeeAnn, on the other hand, is having trouble with eighth-grade algebra. My first thought was: Could Ronnie tutor her? Her mother Sarah admitted to having the same reaction.

Right now Ronnie loves baseball and is pretty good at it. But since less than 1 percent of all baseball players ever earn major league salaries, his mathematical ability could come in handy in adulthood, where engineering types command big bucks.

Jim Bailey’s column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by e-mail at jameshenrybailey@earthlink.net.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Will you vote in the primary election on May 6?

Yes, on May 6
Yes, will vote early
No
     View Results