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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: The frosting on the cake

mathcake.jpg
Food photographer Jennifer Pallian, Geralt
/
Unsplash, Pixabay

“Don’t forget we will be working on fractions tomorrow. And bring your sack lunches…”

This was a bit of a mystery. We always went home for lunch in grade school. For some unknown reason, my remedial math teacher wanted us to bring our lunches. Great. Another thing to carry. As it was, the math textbook loomed large: it wouldn’t fit in my navy canvas book bag. I think the publishers figured that if they printed the math problems in real large type and in bold, you would miraculously understand them.

Trudging down to math class the next day, I entered the classroom with my lunch in my left hand. After the four of us did our math problems on the board, we sat down at the table. Mrs. Parker pulled a box from the cabinet. “Today, we are studying fractions. I thought we would make a layer cake.” Groans turned into cheers with the news.

She got a large bowl and emptied the mix into it. Next, she produced measuring cups and directed us to measure out the remaining ingredients, a quarter cup of this and a cup of that. We baked the yellow cake at school and frosted it with chocolate frosting. We then cut the cake in half and then in quarters and then in eighths. We took pieces to the principal, school nurse and secretary, among others. We felt like celebrities. You might say it was the frosting on the cake.

I’m Rosie Klepper and that’s my perspective.