My Dad, Atrophy And Mathematics

To bring back and extend Dad’s concept of numbers, my sister, Nancy, and I have been giving him simple math problems.  My sister is giving him addition problems that require carrying. I’ve been trying to get him to relearn the multiplication table.  Both my sister and I realize that part of his brain has atrophied.  But we believe that a better knowledge of numbers will not only help him solve basic mathematics problems, but also improve his ability to reason and strengthen his confidence.   I was astounded yesterday morning to see my Dad at 95 solve all my problems in ten seconds!  He was definitely proud of his accomplishment and so was I!

My Dad at work.


About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

6 Responses to My Dad, Atrophy And Mathematics

  1. berlioz1935 says:

    You can be proud of your Dad, yourself, and your sister Nancy. Mathematics is a great way to stimulate the brain.


  2. Debra says:

    I think it’s fabulous that you and your sister have been so diligent in giving your dad this added assistance. To see him make these strides at 95 warms my heart. I’m so glad you shared this story, Robert.


    • Thanks, Debra. Dad has always been a determined man and he did well in math in school. Nancy and I are trying to reawaken his mathematical thinking and logic that was so much a part of him.


  3. auntyuta says:

    At age 13 I was the best in my class in mathematics. Alas, it was a girls only high school class. I found Math very easy, but did not persevere with it. Maybe I should have – – –
    Thanks for telling us about your Dad. Wishing him all the best!


  4. Nice to hear from you Uta! Thanks so much for the good wishes!


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