“Yeah, I need some help.” That is how a recent 911 emergency phone call was started. A young child, four years old to be exact, was sitting down to do her homework. Her math homework to be exact. And if there is anything that I will ever relate with anything I write about in this blog, it will be this. Math is hard. Math is challenging. Math is just plain stupid. Sure sure, there are going to be doubters out there, that come back and say that I use it every day. Sure I do, but do I use the quadratic formula every day? Do I use the definition of a unit circle every day? Do I use the square root of pi over the x to the cure root? No, I don’t. I am a graphic designer. I am not a scientist that is set out to save the world. I mean, I use plastic bags when I go to the grocery store. But besides the point, I do not intend on saving the world with a math formula that has not been released yet.
But what makes me smile about this is that the little girl used what I feel I have a lot of, is common sense. She was told, by her month, to sit down and ask if she needed help. Well, to the smart ear, she did not say whom to ask. She did not say ho to ask. All she said was ask. So, when the little girl needed help with her questions, she did what she was probably taught how to do in case of an emergency. And this, to the student, was an emergency.
So when she picks up the phone and dials 911 you do not get the expected reaction out of the operator that you might think. Of course, the line is made for emergency calls only, but maybe the operator had a little girl at home and thought this was indeed an emergency. So she walked here through the steps of a couple of problems and by the time the phone call was finished, the little math wizard was that much smarter.
Now, to those out there that are looking all over in this post for the context of that phone call, or the recording of the famed 911 call, you will not find it here. Josh, do me a favor, tell them all what you have learned. I have heard, seen, and read all three. And each time I do so I smile because I think I might have found my new help line.
“911 emergency, how may I help you?”
“Yes, can you tell me how to find the area of a triangle when given three sides and one angle while at the same time finding the cosine of the said triangle.”