Thoughts ... on Math, Life and Happiness
motivated by old age

I was thinking, remembering and ...

>That can be bad for your health.
I taught Math for over thirty years. Perhaps the most common question I got from students was:
      "When will I ever use this?"

>And you answered?
Oh, the standard stuff:
      "You never know what the future holds"
      "It helps to develop clear and logical thinking"
and ...

>And did anyone swallow that?
I doubt it.

>But now you're retired and don't have to convince anybody.
Well, I still get comments from readers like:
      "Can you skip the math and just go to the answer?"

Remember, I adopted the name gummy some ten years ago because I was accused of "gumming" things up with Math.
However, it's my website and now that I'm retired I can do what pleases me.

>And write whatever garbage comes to mind, eh?
Uh ... yes. But, for a satisfying retirement, I think you need curiosity. For me, it's essential and ...

>And what other things do you need?
The secret of a good Life is Compassion
The secret of a good Relationship is Courtesy
The secret of a good Marriage is Communication
The secret of a good Retirement is Curiosity

>That's it? Four Cs?
I like to think of it as C4.

>There you go again, gumming things up with ...
Of course, one can add Concern and Consideration for others and ..

>And some Cash is good. And how 'bout a neat Car? A testa rossa maybe?

Raising Kids

Recently, our family was talking about how to raise kids so I thought I'd mention my thoughts on the subject.

>Because nobody else would listen?
Well ... sort of.
Anyway, here are my thoughts:

  1. There should be lots of House Rules
          You read a page from a book, you get 15 minutes of TV**.
          You keep your room neat.
          You don't use bad language.
          You do your homework before you play. We'll help.
  2. A penalty for disobeying the Rules
          No TV, stay indoors, no dessert, extra house duties ... or whatever.
          Really bad activity? A spanking.
  3. Work for your weekly allowance
          Weed the garden, take out the trash, wash / dry the dishes etc.
          ... then you get your (small) allowance.
  4. Finish your meals
          Mom made a healthy meal. Eat it ... or go hungry
          ... and the whole family eats together.
  5. Lots of hugging
          If you do good in school or some project or weeding the garden, you get a big hug
          ... or (at least) recognition that you done good.
  6. Lots of do-it-together Family Activities
          Camping (and roasting marshmallows), digging for clams (and worms for fishing), Disneyland, etc.
          ... and the whole family eats together.
  7. Mom & Dad agree on everything
          Parents talk a lot (after the kids are in bed) about what to do in various situations
          ... so the kiddies never get different responses to the same request.
  8. Uniform Treatment
          Exactly the same number (and colour) of treats in their Christmas stockings.
          Similar treatment on birthdays, equivalent presents at Christmas, etc.
  9. Ask their Advice on various issues
          What movie should we see? What would you like for dinner? Where should we go camping?
          We're thinking of having Johnny stay for a week while his parents are on vacation. What do you think of that?
  10. Teach the kids to Share
          Here's a treat. Share it with your brother and sisters.
          When you're finished playing with your new toy, show the others how to use it.
We had a box of coloured poker chips. Each of our four kids had a colour. They read a page, they got one chip.
Atop the TV set was a piggy bank. They put their chips in there. (We randomly ask them to describe the pages they read.)

>Them's the ten commandments?
Well, yes ... for my wife and I.
>I don't like the part about spanking.
I didn't think you would.
>So did these things work ... for
your kids?
I think so. They're now in their thirties ... and we're very proud of them all.