New World New Math

For years Millennials have been whining about how unprepared they were to figure out personal budgeting and finances, how to boil water and basically do for themselves all things their parents did for them while growing up that weren’t explicitly taught in schools.

The current crop of children from K-12 will be much better prepared.  With schools closed and parents and family teaching, math lessons include calculating how long a roll of toilet paper will last, how many loaves of bread can be made with one bag of flour, and how much money can be saved and spent differently (like on Christmas presents — just kidding) when adults no longer buy overpriced drinks at Starbuck’s every day and gym memberships are unnecessary when you have stairs, clean bathrooms, vacuum, sweep do laundry and lift heavy delivery packages.

Science is covered by gardening — indoors and out — including science projects of growing vegetables from discarded scraps.  Chemistry lessons not only include why yeast is necessary for baking bread and making pizza dough, but also that bleach and other cleansers are not digestible items, otherwise they’d be stored in the fridge, freezer, and food pantry along with milk, eggs, frozen veggies and peanut butter.  Something the Big Fat Orange Twit has never learned.  Nor has any doctor in any country ever said “Drink some bleach.  You’ll feel better.  And call me in the morning.”  (Better ‘to put the lime in the coconut…whoo-oo…)

Health and nutrition is now a focus since there’s less discretionary income for chips and candy evidenced by the stocked shelves at stores while shelves are completely empty of soup, pasta, noodles, rice, meat and fish, frozen veggies, milk, eggs and teabags.  There are limits on toilet paper and tissues — which is why math is so important.  Limits on dairy products as well.  Fortunately I have a milkman saving me weekly trips. (go ‘burbs!)  He even had to stop taking new customers at the end of March and he’s been running 1-1 ½ hours late due to a deluge of orders.

Phys Ed is covered by the rediscovery of backyards, along with new play sets and trampolines.  Landscapers and owners are busy clearing bushes and trees to make room for more play area and probably pools soon.  This is in addition to running up/down stairs and around all rooms, jumping up/down on beds and dog walking.

Industrial/interior design and mechanical engineering is covered by construction of indoor tepees and forts using sheets, blankets, mops and furniture already at home, not to mention construction with cardboard boxes from home deliveries.  This also counts for arts and crafts class.

Reading is up even if it’s online.  Writing is still being practiced using chalk on driveways, sidewalks and fences.  Spelling is accurate though penmanship is not. (They need lines.)

Additionally, they’re learning project management by the inventory of grocery/non-food items needed before heading to the stores in search of said items and planning sufficient time for the endeavor considering social distancing rules and waiting times to enter the store and whether or not the items are in stock, which entails having a backup plan.

The current crop of K-11 will not grow up to be whiners.  They will be prepared to adapt and tackle new situations and circumstances, the curveballs that may be thrown their way in life despite their plans and survive successfully.  This is not necessarily true of current high school seniors who are bemoaning the cancellation of proms, end of year class trips (which are self-congratulatory not educational) and the pompous circus celebration.  The virus hit a little late in their secondary education and they will be the last batch of adult whiners.  They’ll never survive a layoff with that self-pity.

The world constantly changes — especially what is not in your control — and you need to adapt — at every age.  That’s the basis of hope.