I collect mine for a friend who sells eggs in loose quantities at a wet market. She packs eggs into these recycled cartons for her customers who are mostly low-income and elderly, enabling them to carry the eggs home without breaking them.
At my home, collecting plastic egg cartons is troublesome and messy. In addition to being bulky, they vary in shape and size, making them hard to stack. No wonder why people rather dispose than recycle them.
Like these plastic cartons, what do you do with the experiences you have acquired after this season of your life? Not everyone will value them and those who will won’t know where to find you, which means you’ll need to find them.
I’m collecting mine for those who have use for them. An elderly friend taught me to never expire before my expiry date.
By the way, if I ate 2 eggs each day, how many eggs did I eat in 2018? If I always bought them in cartons of 15, how many cartons did I accumulate in 2018?
In the course of writing Fun-filled Math Conversations With Your Child, I had some friends read snippets of my writing to provide me with feedback. The friend from the UK corrected my spelling and said it was MathS, with an “s” at the back.
I had totally forgotten about that “s”! It was always there when I was growing up, but when did it disappear? Quick check with local MathS textbooks, and… YES! It’s still there, but I no longer notice it!
I tried rationalising it with my editor. Perhaps we should use “maths” as the short for mathematics (noun), and “math” for mathematical (adjective). But soon, I was confused. “Maths words” or “math words”? “Math conversations” or “maths conversations?”. Another friend from the US said it is always “math” for the Americans.
In order not to confuse my readers the way I confused myself, we went with math without the “s”.
Which begs the question: In how many ways can you solve a math problem? The correct answer is: more than one.
That’s our favourite subject to talk about. When we are in that space, there is no pressure to be politically correct. There is no agenda and no planned outcome. Thoughts and ideas don’t have to be congruent. Grammar can be challenged. We are allowed to speak Chinese in English!
In order to talk rubbish productively, we have to be ready to laugh and be offended. It helps to be relaxed.
The best jokes and most creative content come out of us when we talk rubbish: my son told me that his favourite number in the alphabet was red; my husband told us weather forecast predicted tandoori showers that afternoon, so we waited patiently for Indians to fall from the sky. If 10 Indians fell from the sky each second, how many Indians will fall from the sky in an hour?
If we loosen up and occasionally indulge in our children’s “rubbish” talk, I’m sure you won’t need to work too hard to find fun-filled content to talk about.
Pondering on the thought that we can do family life to prepare our children for school, it dawned on me how far we have departed from the initial goal of attending school to prepare us for life. I’m talking about BASIC education here, not the type that converts young science students into certified engineers or architects.
Perhaps it was true 50 years ago, when our parents were not fluent in an international language such as English or Mandarin, that sending their children to school was the best option to equip the young for a future. Has that era passed?
I think we’ve reached a point where most of us have gone through sufficient school, thus equipped to teach our own children the BASIC stuff. So why do we continue to do the things the same way it was done 50 years ago?
Does it make sense to do family life to prepare the children for school, in order for school to prepare the children for life? Do we need to chase our own tails? Is it possible to simply do family life to prepare the children for life instead? I don’t have an answer, do you?
In the meantime, while we figure this out, let’s help each other prepare our children for school while living out family life.