Tuesday, November 29, 2011

today's "maybe i don't deserve a harvard degree after all" moment

every week, i volunteer with a study hall program for middle school kids.  we basically just watch them do their homework and help them out when they have a question.

there's this one kid who comes when i volunteer.  he knows very little English (Mandarin Chinese is his first language), but he's stellar in math.  when he doesn't have work to do (this has been the case for the past two weeks), he likes to make up his own math problems.  he writes down equations and tells me to solve them, or draws complex shapes and asks me to find the area.  

i've always been relatively good in math up to trig or basic calculus level, but (more than) half the time, i can't solve the problems this kid gives me to solve.  when i give it my best effort anyway in an attempt to retain some semblance of my dignity, he complains that i'm working too slowly.  

all told, i never thought a middle schooler could make me feel so dumb.  and as embarrassing as it is, i also find it really funny.

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