Long Division This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Not too long ago, I met a frustrated fourth grader trying to do his math homework.

Do you know how to do long division?” he asked. “It’s so hard!”

“It’s not too bad,” I replied. “It’s a lot easier than trigonometry.”

“Mrs. Smith gave us 10 problems!” he exclaimed. “How does she expect us to get all that done?”

I thought of my five-page essay due the next day, and chuckled. “I wish I were a kid again,” I sighed.

“No, you don’t!” he shouted. “It’s awful. I can’t wait until I can hang out with my friends until 10 and ride my bike outside when it’s dark. I can’t wait! I mean, you don’t have to do 10 long division problems a night, do you?”

I didn’t answer. He was right. When I was little, I hated being a kid. As a teenager, I’ve already begun to take for granted what I couldn’t do when I was younger: using a knife to cut my own meat, being allowed to use a lighter to burn incense in my room, even being able to walk my dog by myself.

I sat down and helped him with his math homework. I remember, very well. Learning long division was hard.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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