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April 6, 2009

The Princess Bride Conquers Math Anxiety

On Thursday my dear little aspiring astronaut came into my room rather distraught and the following conversation ensued.

Child: (clutching math book) I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I have tried everything and I just don’t it. (she plops down into my chair.)

Mom: Am I to understand that you are having trouble with your math?

Child: (chin quivering in frustration and now at the brink of tears) I have tried everything and it just doesn’t make sense.

Mom: In that case, I have only one thing to say to you… (dramatic pause)

Mom continuing: Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togevah today. Mawwiage. That bwessed event. That dweam wivin a dweam. … And wuv twue wuv will fowwow you fowevah.

Child: dissolves into hysterical laughter.

Mom: (holding out arms) Now come here Pwincess Buwwukwup.

Mom then snuggles child and reaches into private stash to produce a piece of chocolate.

Mom: Will this help?

Child nods vigorously taking chocolate.

Mom gives Child a few moments to savor her chocolate.

Mom: Okay, Pwincess Buwwahkwup, let’s see if we can figure this math out.

From here we discussed the math issues, which turned out to be compound interest ( is it any wonder that she was having problems). By replacing the frustration with a bit of silliness, she was able to calm down and refocus. This allowed us to discuss the problem she was having and move on to understanding. Isn’t amazing that a little silliness can conquer math anxiety.

If this makes absolutely no sense to you, it means that you have not seen the movie The Princess Bride. You really must see it. It is a classic film filled with “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”
You can click this link to see the scene referenced here.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Daisy permalink
    April 7, 2009 5:11 am

    Tee hee, that’s hilarious. I can sympathise with her though. Even though I call math “Maths” I still have trouble getting my head round it!

  2. lleehome permalink
    April 7, 2009 6:16 am

    Love that movie and I love your silliness. It’s a great stress reliever. I feel better just from reading it. In fact, I’m inspired to tackle geometry one more time. It will NOT defeat me. :). Thanks for the heartwarming inspiration

  3. Lynne permalink
    April 7, 2009 9:15 pm

    Oh yeah! I use silliness in the classroom often – it’s good for defusing situations and getting attention!

  4. Aunt Kathy permalink
    April 10, 2009 7:03 pm

    Such a wise momma you are.

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