Dime and nickel
5th, March, 2014
Right on my desk, you will always notice there is a bottle full of shiny nickels. Everyone knows that a dime is 10 cent as a nickel is 5 cent. Beside the bottle, there is a report card that says an”A” in the math column.
“Study your math, Cyril” grandfather yelled at me when he had found my test. “I know you are an actuary, but it doesn’t mean I need to be also, grandfather.” My grandfather dropped the test and goggled at me.” it is not about being or not being an actuary anymore, I just know if you cannot pass this final exam, you are not going to primary school!”
I was stunned immediately after he said that, I simply could not move, muscles and my body hardened for a second. That was the time I finally realized that I did not do well in the test, in other word, I AM NOT GOOD IN MATH.
My brain went blank when dealing with numbers, and because of this, it happened when a dime and a nickel dropped out of my grandfather’s wallet. Even though I was not good in mathematics, I still loved money. The temptation of shiny silver consumed my mind. Therefore, I decided to pick up those two coins for my grandfather, but, hiding the bigger one in my palm. I said,“Here’s you coin, grandfather.” You could not imagine how smart my grandfather’s brain was, he could simply remember how many coins were there in his wallet. He gave me back the dime and sighed” next time get the one with greater value, son” He then left and went back to work.
A bigger cup can contain more water, a higher building can contain more storeys, a greater diamond can be brighter. I looked at the two coins on my hand and said “ the bigger coin must have a greater value.” Base on this concept, I started to learn the chronological order of numbers, which 2 is greater than 1 and 3 is greater than 2.
Everyday after the incident, my grandfather showed a nickel and a dime to me and told me to choose the greater one. I, of course, chose the nickel with no hesitation because I was still attracted by the bigger size.
My math seemed to get a little bit better, at least I passed the exam, but things were not going right when I started to do questions on values. As usual, my grandfather took the two coins to me and asked,” which one has a greater value, son?” Again, I took the nickel and gained a little bit of satisfaction. My grandfather, seemed to be a little bit disappointed and said” the bigger is not always the better, Cyril”
Honestly, I was confused of what he had just said because I was thinking of what flavor of ice cream I should buy when he was saying the phrase. It did not seem to be important so that phrase slowly vanished out of my brain. Summer arrived; it was very hot that day so I decided to go out and buy an ice cream. It was the perfect…