As we near the close of this doodlewash adventure, we have one of the last little things in this series in the form of a Little Professor. This was a backwards calculator that I had when I was a kid. Instead of giving you answers to mathematical equations, it gave you unsolved math problems and prompted you for the answer. If there was ever a way to make math fun, this little guy succeeded brilliantly.
I used to spend hours on this thing, staring at the little fuzzy numbers that would pop up on the LED screen. Little Professor gave you three chances to get the problem correct. Incorrect answers returned an “EEE” which I guess was a way of saying “Error” three times to ensure you felt like a proper idiot. After three “EEE’s” it would tell you the answer you should have entered were you not so regrettably stupid.
This strict teacher actually did his job quite well for me. I would eventually go on to become quite excellent in math and solve equations that were well beyond my little plastic teacher’s scope. I entered my senior year of high school signed up for college level Calculus and Physics when I suddenly had a life-altering ephiphany. I truly hated math. Like seriously depised it and found it impossibly boring. So I cancelled those classes and joined the Yearbook team and became a reporter on the school newspaper. Somewhere, my Little Professor is rolling in his LED grave, spitting “EEE’s” across his screen to share his disappointment in me.
Looking back, I have no regrets that I abandoned my math career. Since that time, I’ve never once needed anything more complex than what I learned from Little Professor in my life. But I sometimes wonder what I would have become if I hadn’t made such a drastic shift in my plans? No doubt, there would have been no Doodlewash and I certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to be a movie producer. Though, who knows? Becoming an astronaut might have been cool too.
What I do know is that I’ve spent a lifetime following my dreams and I can’t imagine living any other way. I’ve been called “lucky” to have a creative job and be doing what I love each day throughout my career, but it’s not something out of reach or unusual. Anybody can do what inspires them most. Sometimes you just have to risk getting a few “EEE’s” to discover the answer. And though I’m still not a math fan, that’s been a pretty valuable lesson I learned back then. All thanks to my tiny Little Professor.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Red, Azo Yellow, Gamboge, Azo Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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