October 25, 2020 · 9:10 am
When I was a kid, when dealing with grown-ups, there was nothing that exasperated me more than to be told “because I said so!”
As an inquisitive child, trying to understand the world, I think I had a pretty good sense of cause and effect. When I asked “Why?” it wasn’t to challenge authority, it was simply to connect the dots to understand the motivation behind the grown-up’s answer to the preceding question.
I also think it was a disservice to shut down conversations in this way and deprive me of the opportunity to develop valuable negotiation skills and propose counteroffers such as “I’ll go rake the leaves just as soon as (insert TV show name) is over.”
On a personal level, when a conversation ended with “because I said so!” I sometimes felt hurt. I worked hard for the acceptance of grown-ups, and to not provide any elaboration seemed to discredit those efforts even though I am certain that there were times that “because I said so!” had nothing to do with me, but rather, other related circumstances. But that wasn’t always conveyed.
I vividly remember vowing that when I grew up, I would never shut down conversations with “because I said so!” To this day, I am pretty sure that I kept to my vow, but I know that there have been times I went too far the other way.
As I grew up, I developed a reflex for not only explaining an answer, but over-explaining. I partly blame the math teachers who always insisted on “showing your work”… Careful what you wish for!
I admit that as my reasoning and communication skills developed, my reasons may not have been air-tight, but hey, it was a process like everything in life. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, Writing
Tagged as adults, authority, babysitters, childhood, childhood memories, critical thought, explanation, grown-up, kids, parents, reasoning, teachers
June 12, 2016 · 8:51 am
Last Mother’s Day, I posted a tribute to my mother and the wonderful legacy of parenting she left me. I am reminded of those traits in observing my day-to-day interactions with Ivy the Wonder Cat and thinking to myself, “Wow! That was just like Mom!”
When it comes to my father, I find that his influences are far more prevalent in my day-to-day interactions at the office and, believe it or not, in my writing.
As I was growing up, getting good grades was the absolute top priority for me in my Dad’s world. In particular, it was all about the math. Given his brilliant mind when it came to numbers, in his eyes, the road to success was paved with good grades in all of the math disciplines: calculus, algebra, trigonometry, functions and relations, and if possible, accounting and this new thing called computer science.
The way he described it to me, with good grades in math, he thought this would open doors to colleges and universities, leading to a good job and then a self-sustaining adulthood. I knew that philosophically, there was validity to his advice.
Sadly, it took until my last year of university for me to recognize and fully appreciate the deeper connections made through the learning process. Math was not just about performing math functions, but it served as a way of cross-training young minds, so to speak, stretching them in every direction possible in preparation for the challenges of adulthood.
Mathematics were key to understanding money, finances, investments and doing taxes. Math also came in handy for taking measurements for home renovations as well as for splitting recipes in half. Beyond those obvious linkages, math also stood the test of time in teaching me the life skills of logic, critical thought and analysis, essential to organize facts and to solve real-life problems, something I use every day at work. Thanks Dad!
An epiphany followed Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Misc blogs, Writing
Tagged as accounting, algebra, calculus, comedy, critical thinking, critical thought, grades, life skills, logic, mathematics, numbers, problem solving, relevance, skills, story, studies, Writing