My wife swears that she didn't get the "math gene." What she means by that is that mathematical concepts are not a part of her natural thinking processes. I disagree. Math is a way of expressing concepts that we all use every day. For example, my wife can prepare a meal from a recipe book. Recipes are mathematical equations of proportion expressed in the form of ingredient amounts. Hence, she understands and uses math every time she uses a recipe. My wife can also half or double a recipe if she needs to. The ingredient amounts change, but the proportions remain constant. Shopping is another every-day activity where we use math. If we know we have $100 to spend on a shopping trip, we use math to determine what we can buy during that trip. The mathematical equation might look like this ($20 + 7%) + ($50 + 7%) + $20 < $100. The left side of this equation means that you bought a $20 and a $50 item, both of which you would need to pay sales tax on at the register, and you bought a $20 item that would not be taxed. Working inside the parenthesis we can reduce the equation to $21.40 + $53.50 + 20 < $100. Adding the numbers we now have on the left side of the equation gives us $94.90, which is obviously less than (<) $100. I'll bet every one of you has done a version of this equation at one time or another ... and you probably did it in your head! See, math isn't as scary as you think.