Tag Archives: mathematics

The Halloween Candy Calculations

With Halloween just around the corner, two questions that seems to be increasingly on our minds are “How many Halloween treats will we need?” and “Is it too early to buy?”

When I was growing up, I don’t recall there being much debate. The number seemed generally stable from year to year. When the neighbourhood’s teens felt they were getting too old to be trick or treating, younger kids were replacing them. And if I remember correctly, 60 to 70 kids seemed to be the norm for many years. When it came to Halloween, it was suburban stability.

Also, back then, Halloween candy didn’t grace our store shelves until after the “Back-to-school” season was over… when kids were back at school. I don’t recall any retail shenanigans of having Halloween candy on the shelves a couple of weeks into the summer break.

In the couple of weeks leading up to Halloween, Mom would buy 60-70 treats. On Halloween night, most (if not all) of the treats would be distributed. The end.

But that hasn’t been the case recently. Continue reading

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Just Like Dad

Dad and me 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

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