A barely-not-too-late Happy Father's Day to Father Dear! This was supposed to be posted earlier, but ah well :). For those of you who are fans of Sister Dear's writings, here is her latest, in honor of our Dear Father :).
Math man Joe (he's the man!): tall, jolly, brownies in one hand and a calculator in the other; he's always ready for whatever problems may come his way.
As our story opens, Math Man Joe is at his desk at school, absorbed in figuring out a beautiful math problem. The hum of the students in the room working diligently on their homework serves as delightful background music to our Hero's ears. Math Man Joe takes a small respite in order to enjoy a bite of brownie as he looks over the heads of his beloved students. Suddenly a student rushes in the room, followed by a teacher. "Math Man, we have a PROBLEM!" gasps the student, named Bill, whose face shows the overwhelming enormity of the problem. The students in the room pause from their work, nervous and afraid. The teacher who has just entered with the student stands a few feet off, trembling and sweating.
Math Man Joe, always composed, puts his brownie down and takes up his calculator and says, "Never fear, Math Man is here!" The students cheer and wait expectantly to see what will happen next.
Bill, who has caught his breath by now but still looks a little wild with fright, dramatically says, "Our... calculators... won't... work!" The teacher behind him utters a small groan and hangs his head in despair.
Math Man Joe collects his thoughts and asks, "What do you mean they won't work? Do they need new batteries?"
"No, we tried new batteries, but they refuse to work. They're very tired and say they don't have the energy to compute anymore. I was almost done with a problem when my calculator went to sleep, and I still don't know what 2 + 3 is! Oh, whatever shall we do?!"
Bill handed his TI-89 calculator to Math Man Joe to prove what he had just said.
Sure enough, when Math Man tries to turn on the calculator, the calculator reads: "Leave me alone. I want to sleep. ZZZzzzzz..."
"Do not fear, all is not lost," says Math Man Joe. "You can compute a whole bunch of numbers by yourself, without a calculator!" Bill's mouth dropped open and the teacher gasps and says in a reprimanding tone, "Math Man, you can't mean it! These kids can't do it themselves! That's too much for them to handle!"
Math Man, however, stands by what he has said and repeats, "You can do it by yourself! Bill and Bill's teacher, watch this," and turning to his class, he asks, "Class, what is 2 + 3?" They all chime in together and answer, "5, Mr. Math Man Joe!"
Bill's teacher stammers, "Ho.. ho... how could they do that without a calculator?"
Proudly Math Man Joe commands his whole class to go to Bill's class and teach the students how to add themselves, without a calculator. "I, will stay here and work with these calculators and see if I can wake them up," says Math Man as his students hurry out of his room, eager to share the joys of math with fellow students trapped in the bondage of dependence on their calculators. Math Man hears one of his students say to Bill as they headed out the door, "Oh, Bill, there is such freedom in doing computations by yourself! I am so glad to get to teach you!"
Math Man smiles and chuckles slightly as he examines Bill's calculator. "Hmmm... " he thinks. "I wonder."
At the end of the period, all of the students from both classes pile into Math Man Joe's room, talking about math equations and solving them in their heads. Bill's teacher is astounded. "I have to hand it to you, Math Man. I didn't think it was possible, but you saved the day! My kids were able to finish their home work without a calculator! However, there is still a problem. Tomorrow's lesson does require certain steps done on the calculator. What can I do?"
The rest of the room went quiet when they heard this. "The trouble is not over!" they whisper in anguish.
Math Man grins, holding Bill's calculator in one hand and taking a bit of a brownie with the other. He pushed the 'on' button on the calculator, and to everyone's surprise and joy - it turns on!
"What did you do?!" everyone asks.
"Simple," he replied. "Since Father's Day was yesterday, I have extra brownies with me today. Everyone needs a little boost of energy from time to time, so I simply inserted a bit of brownie with the batteries, and it's working just dandy! The poor calculator was just tired and needed a boost." He laughs happily and hands the calculator to Bill. "Oh!" he said, glancing down at his watch. "Isn't it about time for you kids to be gone? I'm thinking it's about time for a nap before I go for a run."
And with that our hero packs up his calculator and brownies and heads out the door. Another problem solved!
"Hooray for Math Man Joe," cheer the students.