It's been a long time since I last posted one of my grandmother's stories from her early life. If you haven't read one of Mormor's stories before, they are all true, and they began their lives as bedtime tales told to her grandchildren. A few years before her death she wrote them all down by hand, and one of my aunts typed them up and photocopied them. Each family member got a folder of stories for Christmas that year, and it is one of my most cherished possessions. You can read the first story here.
When my brother, Art, was a senior at Southern Humboldt High School he earned a bit of money by driving the school bus night and morning from Camp Grant to the school at Miranda. Part of the job was to keep the bus clean and in good running order.
One of his passengers was a teacher, Mr. Pimental, who usually checked over his class papers on the ride home. One night, as Art was cleaning the bus, he found a paper that had slid down beneath the seat. It was a math test that proceeded from 2 + 2 = what? to very difficult problems. Since this subject fascinated Art he took the paper home where, after dinner, he and my father separately worked out the problems from beginning to end. My father maintained all could be solved using plain arithmetic, though Dad had studied both algebra and geometry. Art used every means at his command. There was but one answer on which they disagreed, and later I found out Art's answer was the correct one.
The next morning all the seniors were called into the library at school to take the College Aptitude Math Test. When Art was given his paper he saw it was a duplicate of the test that he and Dad had enjoyed working the night before, so he had quite a struggle with his conscience. He finally decided not to say anything since he had had no help in solving the problems the evening before. However, he was careful not to whiz through the test.
After the results were reached, word sifted out that Art was a mathematical genius, so some teachers who deplored his grades in English looked on Art with new respect.
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I'm still trying to get my head around doing a math test FOR FUN.