The wheels are turning now…

October 29, 2011

Tonight the Seattle University cross-country team, coached by my friends Trisha and Uli Steidl, returns from their conference meet in North Dakota. Phil seemed especially interested in the fact that they would be taking two vans home from the airport, so I did my best to make this a “teachable moment.”

“There are seven girls who went on this trip,” I said. “If four of the girls are in one van, how many girls are in the other van?”

Phil quietly consulted his fingers. “Three!” he said after a long pause.

“Good! Now let’s say that there are EIGHT girls on the team, and that seven of them are in one van. How many are in the other van?” I asked.

“. . . One!”


“She’ll be sad.”


“She’ll be all alone.”

“But what if there are some boys in that van?”

“She wants to be with the other girl runners.”



  1. LOL!

  2. i always enjoy a good phil kochik math story

  3. high school: girls
    college: women

  4. Anon: Yes, I know…. But to this 5-year-old, “girls” just means “females” (as “boys” = “males”), so I use it with him in that same way for now.

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