Another Reason Novels Are More Important Than Math

currently playing on my iPod: Yes, I Would by Frightened Rabbit

Yup. I said it. So there, sixth grade math teacher that gave me detention way back when.

Last night, I had dinner with some friends, one whose first language was Farsi and grew up in a culture very different from my own. We talked about showing respect within the family unit. (Don’t worry. I have a point. I’m getting there. Chill. It’s Sunday.)

In Farsi, there are two forms of the word “aunt.” The first is for the aunt on your own side of the family. The second refers to the aunt on the husband’s side. You are expected to use the proper term, showing respect for the nature of the relationship.

I found it fascinating and thought of my own aunts. How were our relationships different based on family ties? Should I treat them differently? Do I already?

Great novels provoke such ponderings as well.

As they should.

A great novel pulls you into a culture–be it ancient Rome, Boston’s south side, or a faerie-strewn world of fantasy–and makes you question the nature of things like family and respect.

Teens need novels in their lives way more than they need math. Most don’t hang out with people from vastly different cultures than their own. They usually can’t travel all over the place. They spend most of their time with peers much like them. To deepen their understanding of families, respect, and all manner of human things, they need to dive into other cultures represented in novels.

The square root of x is great and all, but c’mon. Novels are totally more important than math.*

*Teens, please note that you should continue your education in mathematics. If you don’t get a degree, you won’t get a good job and will lack funds for novel buying.

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