I’m a retired engineer, coasting along with all the positive benefits of a civilized existence — a warm hearth, coffee breaks, time to read and enjoy good walks — without those uncivilized, job-related irritants. Yet, I do at times miss the problems and sweet mathematical solutions such as those brought home by my sixth-grade grandson. But recently, through that connection, my retirement has gotten even better.
For the last few months, I have shown up at McMurray, once per week, for an hour, in Mr. Daniels’ math class to help with the “pull-out” program. My assignment is to accompany five or six children (including my grandson) who are enthusiastic about mathematics and are generally happy to interact with me while we share this interest.
Case in point: After several weekly encounters, I was reminded, while dealing with fractions, how useful they are — in cooking recipes for example — and how important this problem-solving exercise is for these students who are so eager to explore any and all the applications. And it is generally here, while thinking of the many applications that lay ahead, that I appreciated my role in this program.
Although Mr. Daniels, with the course materials provided him, serves to teach and fuel the students’ enthusiasm for mathematics, the testimonials from someone who has appreciated the many uses of these concepts — be it while cooking or designing bridges — can help to drive that enthusiasm even higher.
In short, by volunteering in the pull-out program I have, between my walks and coffee breaks, added yet another bit of joy to my retirement. If you could as well, you’d be sincerely appreciated. Contact Blythe Denise, firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll help you join this stimulating and useful journey.
— Ward Carson