Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Shorts & Sums

'Sum Times' by Aakash Nihalani

'Sum Times' detail by Aakash Nihalini

My mother, irate over a discrepancy on her credit card statement, phoned me.

Seems she was hit with a hefty auto repair bill, and 'outraged' by the amount, managed to convince her mechanic to cut her a break.

But instead of crediting her account $25.00, he added that sum to the total, overcharging her $50.00, so she said.

"Fifty dollars?... I thought he owed you twenty-five."

"He did!"... but by the time she finished venting, even with a calculator, I couldn't get her numbers to add up.

The more confused I got, the more frustrated she became, until exasperated, she blurted out... "Forget it!... You were never any good with math." And added... "Do you remember the time your father and I hired a tutor to help you with Algebra? You didn't get Algebra. Come to think of it, you didn't get Geometry either."

Or basic math apparently, but 'sum' times we don't need 'sum' one to remind us of our inadequacies. 'Sum' things are easily recounted all on their own.

'Exit' by Aakash Nihalani

View Street Artist Aakash Nihalani's latest work here, his video here, and an interview here.


  1. "Sum Times"=Very Clever

    As a kid I was "matahmatically challenged". Story problems, as they were called in those days, sent me over the edge. My dad was good at math and at explaining the logic of figuring out a problem but as soon as I went back to my desk to tackle the next problem, I was once again completely baffled and overwhelmed with frustration. I remember once scribbling all over the page with my pencil and another time crumpling up the page in rage, tears streaming down my face. In fourth grade, my teacher called my mom at home to tell her that I was not learning my multiplication tables and needed extra help at home. Mom and I would sit at the kitchen table every evening going drilling one table per evening. We went over and over and over them so that I could probably say them in my sleep.

    To both my parent's amazement and my own, I did OK in Algebra. I credit it to an amazing teacher. However, I didn't venture on to Algebra 2.

    To this day I hate dealing with numbers.

    1. Ugh! I feel your pain. I can honestly imagine what it must have felt like to reach the frustration point to scribble on or crumple math pages. Your comments bring back memories of fifth grade and constantly being called to the chalkboard to solve math problems. I think my teacher did it deliberately, for personal amusement, knowing I'd have some strange method for always coming up with the wrong answer. The price one pays for being teacher's pet.