Wait, So This Isn’t How Math Works?!

by Marinka on February 17, 2013

One of the problems with writing a memoir, if you are me, is that while you’re writing, all these memories come flooding back in a huge wave of cliches that come crashing on a sandy shore.

And this weekend was no exception.

Because this weekend I remembered that when I was in grade school, I had an issue with addition and subtraction.

Oh, don’t worry, I knew how to add, so 2 plus 2 was absolutely no problem (hold the Nobel!) but then for reasons that no one, including me, could understand, I’d increase the number by one, “just to be on the safe side.” I did the same thing with subtraction, so 9-2 would equal 6, because I wanted to be extra sure that I subtracted enough.

Unfortunately, mathematics had not yet caught up with my genius concept of “safety math” and every single problem I did in math was marked wrong, but I was convinced that my methods were fairer than the more common “2+2=4” approach.

I don’t know how I surrendered to “conventional math” or, for that matter, how I graduated from the first grade. Wait. Unless my math moronism was the real reason my parents had to leave the USSR?


One year ago ...

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

February 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

You should have simply explained to the teacher that all your solutions had a margin of error equal to plus/minus 1 .


anna see February 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

wow. i always practice safety math when packing underwear for a trip. is it the same thing?


the mama bird diaries
February 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

i don’t know why they no longer teach safety math in school. makes so much more sense.


February 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm

This is how I eat. One more sandwich – just to be on a safe side. Or two. Safety first!


Mama D February 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

Safety math…love it! Works the same way for packing a diaper bag, as I recall from when my kids were little. I always put in more diapers and changes of clothes and snacks than were really needed just to be safe!


Anna Lefler
February 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

Cliche beach? I LOVE that place!




Susan Weinstein February 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I am in complete agreement with safety math, since you never know…
I had a math issue myself, two and two could be 5 or 11, because they were all words. Two was a word and five, so they were all equal.

I did better with invisible math.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

Safety Math. I like that concept.


joeinvegas February 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

Usually better to be safe (but not in math)


Mexmom February 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Safety math is an advanced concept, not everyone can understand it


Lady Jennie February 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

I love your huge waves of clichés crashing on the sandy shore as much as I love your safety math.

I think it’s safe to say there is no one like Marinka. 😉


February 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Safety in numbers! Now I finally know what that means!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: