I just read one of the saddest research findings ever. And no, I’m not referring to the new math education study that found 56 percent of Americans say Arabic numerals should not be taught in U.S. schools. Another 15 percent claimed to be undecided.
Don’t get me wrong: this is sad. Really sad.
The question is, where does Arabic numeral bias come from? I can understand why some might have a problem with 13. But 7? It used to be so lucky!
And if not Arabic, what kind of numerals should schools teach? Surely these people don’t want to go back to Roman numerals.
If so, it’s going to cripple the U.S. calculator industry. Also, Algebra I class. Can you imagine asking an eighth grader to solve for “X” in an equation such as: XX x XXX = X?
Look, this is MMXIX. Isn’t life hard enough?
The answer to this math equation, by the way, is DC. I know, because I’m multi-numerical.
My point is, I’ve almost run out of Roman numeral humor. Which I honestly only used to soften the blow for the truly distressing research finding I am about to share.
That is: the average American hasn’t made a new friend in V years. V YEARS!
OK, NOW I’m done with the Roman numerals. And that’s because the friendship research findings are about to get even worse.
Almost half of the adults surveyed said they would go out of their way to make new friends, but they don’t know how. Many admitted that they have a hard time breaking out of their shells – especially when it means having to break into new social circles. Everyone else, they assume, already has all the friends they need.
Well, I don’t.
I mean, I’m doing OK. Don’t worry about me or anything. But I relate to these research findings because I am relatively awful at making new friends.
Just this week, I went to a large breakfast event at Webster University. There were dozens of tables, many with an empty spot or two. I had just read the friend research. It was a perfect opportunity for friend-making!
So I searched around the room until I found a table in the back where a gentleman was sitting by himself and sat down.
The only problem was, I knew him. He writes about soccer. He knows my husband loves soccer. I abandoned the friend-making project and tried to make soccer small talk. I name-dropped Liverpool. He asked if we were going to the big U.S. Women’s game this week.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
It’s too bad my husband isn’t here, I told him. You’d actually ENJOY talking to him.
In conclusion, I probably should have sat at the math table.