Remember that old sitcom, “The Wonder Years”, with Kevin and Winnie and the gang? If so, you may very well be at the age where you have your own children that are at that wondrous middle school age now and if not, you may be a middle schooler yourself. So, whatever happened to the actress that played Winnie, Danica McKellar? She went on to start her own “wonder years” and got a Mathematics degree at UCLA.
This teen star had another secret passion that most of us never would have guessed when we were watching grow up and fall in love, experiencing all the typical teen angst and joy. Ms. McKellar had an interest in and a flair for numbers and working with them in equations. She didn’t believe the myth that girls weren’t any good at math and that it was a subject for boys. This young woman had her dreams and let nothing stand in the way of her following and achieving them.
Danica had a desire to encourage other girls to do whatever they had their hearts set on, as well, and not to let anything hold them back. For that reason, she wrote two books specifically for middle school aged girls. The first was called “Math Doesn’t Suck” and pinpointed the pre-algebra area of math, showing girls ways that they could master this skill. The second book, “Kiss My Math”, came out recently, with the goal of breaking the math myth.
The following is an excerpt from the book’s introduction:
In college, Nina wanted to be a doctor more than anything in the world. She’d always wanted to deliver babies! She was smart, funny, and totally capable of doing whatever she set her mind to until she found out that calculus was a required course. The idea of taking calculus scared her so much that she dropped out of the pre-med program and gave up her dream!And Nina isn’t the only one. Believe it or not, lots of people change their majors and abandon their dreams just to avoid a couple of math classes in college.So, what does “Kiss My Math” mean?It means: “Um, excuse me, I’m going to do whatever I want with my life, and I’m sure as heck not going to let a littlemathget in my way.”-Danica McKellar
As you can see, this spunky former teen star, current math whiz, isn’t letting anything stand in her way. She is trying to pass the word along to this generation of girls that they need not let anything stand in theirs, either. So, if your middle school daughter comes home raving about “Kiss My Math”, you need not think this is some new slang way of being rude, you can smile and know that she is getting ready to pursue and dominate her dream…math or no math.