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Math Doesn’t Suck

August 28, 2007

Or so says this new book from the chick who played Winnie on The Wonder Years. I love the idea of a book targeted at middle school girls who are just heading into that “math is hard, so why bother?” phase. Danica left acting to pursue a degree in math at UCLA, and has had much success in that field. She’s a great role model for young women who should know that there are many different career paths they can take. My daughter loves math and goes around calling herself a math whiz. She was influenential in getting her teacher to give her an extra math packet, because the regular math “wasn’t enough”. Love that.

The book has an endorsement blurb from Dr. Sally Ride, the first woman in space.  I remember learning about her when she was getting ready for her space flight.  She has a doctorate in physics, and I thought if she can master physics, why can’t I?  We need more role models like that, when we are living in world that can’t get enough of our Paris, Nicole, Britney and Lindsays. 

On a similar note, DD started a week long soccer camp yesterday run by the NY Red Bulls training staff. The coaches are young men, ages 18-25, all from the UK. I asked her how she liked the camp, and she said she really loved it, but didn’t know why all the coaches had to be men. “It’s not fair Mom, there should be some women coaches too. Where are all the women?” Funny, that’s the same thing I said when I played little league at her age. Things change for the better, slowly sometimes.  And as a parent, it’s our job to make sure our kids, especially our daughters, have access to the role models that are going to have positive influence on them going forward. 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2007 9:15 pm

    I thought this book was a cool idea when I first heard about it, too.

    As for women in sports… I’m a certified Level II coach through USA Hockey. Didn’t start playing until grad school, but wound up coaching every grade level up through and including college.

    Yet even today, I was flipping through a bicycling catalog and bemoaning the lack of pages devoted to women’s clothes compared to men’s.

    We’ve come a long way all right, but there’s still a long way yet to go.

  2. August 30, 2007 12:13 pm

    I have four younger sisters. I remember growing up, resenting the hell out of the common wisdom that girls weren’t expected to do well in math. Not my sisters.

    Luckily, we went to a fairly progressive (at the time) Catholic school. I’m speaking of 40-45 years ago. We were taught mostly by young nuns there who seemed–both then and in retrospect–to be interested in teaching us to read and write and do math then in teaching religion ad nauseum. I mean, we did get our daily doses of Catholocism, but they taught me to love books and how to write.

    So here’s to books that fight this almost institutionalized “girls are expected to have math anxiety” b.s.

    Stephen TIano

  3. August 31, 2007 2:02 am

    I wish this book would have been an option a year or two ago. My youngest daughter could have used it when she was in middle school but now she’s in junior high. Have you read through any of the book? I’m curious to know whether it would be too condescending for a junior high schooler… Maybe Winnie could be convinced to write another one for the 7th-8th grade crowd?…

  4. September 19, 2007 10:42 am

    math is always easy for those who take it till they do a perfect practice…

    suma valluru

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