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My Friend, M

It’s a bright warm morning in the third lockdown of Covid19.

Rahul says to his 6-year-old son Ryan, “let me introduce you to a new person today, you will enjoy in getting to know”

“Is this new person a friend” Ryan asks innocently, looking up at his father.

Rahul with a smirk on his face “well, friend or enemy depends on you, since this person only speaks the truth, no sugar coating, no courtesy small talk, straight up honest truth.”

He goes on “if you like straight, honest answers, he can be your friend”

“He has a language, if you learn it, you will understand him”

“If you keep in touch with him, you will have a long friendship”

“And his friendship will be extremely rewarding in life”

Ryan looks up in anticipation.

” Meet M” Rahul says to Ryan pointing to a book on “Introduction to Mathematics”

Mathematics evokes very strong emotions in people of age, shape and sizes. All kids start with an introduction to M but kind of loses touch at some topic and it is downhill from there on. M however has a sense of truth & consistency to it and hence you can jump back on the horse whenever you are ready.

M has a language of his own, the way we can communicate with him. For e.g. how many are 2 apples and 3 apples, we say 5 apples. How many are 2 boys and 5 boys? We say 7 boys. How much is 3x and 6x. Its 9x. What is 5x square and 6 x square? Its 11x square.

Let’s dig some more with M. It will be interesting to know - What is a square? A closed shape with all the 4 sides equal. But how can a number be a square. Let’s take the example of a number 3. Form a L shape using 3 stones on each side. When you go on to form it a complete square with the stones, you end up using 9 stones. And hence 9 is called the square of 3. See the language.

So, now it’s your choice whether you want to make M a friend or a foe. Now that you know, he has a language and you can communicate, I can suggest few steps to be friends with him.

1. Introduction: Start off with a formal know - how of the terminologies and definitions to be used for the particular topic. Identify the various aspects of the topic (variables and the constants).

2. Strike a conversation: Understand the concept and procedure for problem solving at the initial level. Try to know about the topic more by practicing more. Build a strong foundation.

3. Get to know him: Discover the various aspects of his personality by delving deeper into the topic. Apply the conceptual knowledge for problem solving and get the logical abilities come into play.

4. Be his buddy: Build a stronger relationship by analyzing various situations, discussing about them (different ways of solving the problems) and handling complex situations (solving higher level of difficulty). By now, you know each other well.

5. Stay in touch: And that what friends do …they always keep in touch and connect with each other time to time. You need to revisit your friend M repeatedly (keep practicing and connect with concepts) to keep your relationship strong always.

With the help of his parents and teachers, Ryan will make a new lifelong friend in M. As he grows up, his teachers will introduce Ryan to M’s friend’s science, technology, Arts, social sciences and so on and explain how M has influenced all his friends.

Ryan is all set to be M’s best friend.

Are you ready as well?

Author: Pooja Bajaj

Linguaphile Skills Hub

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