Math Homework and Toilet Paper


Slobin sent in:

I need help with math homework. I’m dumb so it might be hard.

Dear Slobin,

First, I’d like to commiserate with you, math homework can be absolutely dreadful. 

Second, I don’t know which math you’re having difficulty with, but I’ve listed some ideas on how to approach math problems! 

  1. When you get stuck on a problem and notes aren’t helping, don’t stress! 
  2. Khan Academy is a very useful tool with videos and worked out solutions that can explain concepts in different ways than those used in class. Here is a link to their list of high school math topics. 
  3. Working alone isn’t best for everyone. Try working with someone else! It’s sometimes helpful to bounce ideas off other people and explain concepts out loud. There are also many resources within Mountainside, such as the after school student-led homework club that meets Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 2:40 to 4. Peers in your class can also be great resources! I personally find FaceTiming with friends while doing difficult problems most beneficial. Finally, if none of those are helpful, Mountainside is full of educated teachers, most of whom would be glad to take a look at your problem. 
  4. Most importantly, don’t prioritize math over your health! Sleeping and taking breaks, while not only good for keeping stress down, can help you approach problems with fresh eyes!

I’d also like to add that math has made everyone feel dumb at some point and the fact that you’re feeling it now is totally understandable. Although the fact that you’re working to get better doesn’t make it sound like you’re dumb at all.




Leeroy Jenkins asked:

If I were in a public restroom, and there is no toilet paper, what do I do?

Dear Leeroy Jenkins (nice name choice, by the way, has a real wow factor),

To be honest, this question was a lot harder to answer than I had originally anticipated. 

Now, there is the logical solution of checking before you would get to the toilet paper step. But that’s not the easiest thing to remember and we all know the one time you forget to check will be the one time you should have. 

So after a bit of researching (a good source) and brainstorming, I’ve decided that on two possible solutions:

Option 1, getting help from an outside source: Ideally, ask someone in the stall next to yours. This requires minimal waiting time. While potentially embarrassing, at least you don’t have to look at them while the exchange is going down. And if that’s too embarrassing, or simply not possible, see if you can text a friend to help you out.

Option 2, using available resources: The easiest go-to here is disposable toilet seat covers which can be found in many public restrooms. The next step would be to scavenge from other stalls if possible. Some fancier bathrooms might even have Kleenex that could be used in a pinch.

These are by no means foolproof plans, so I would probably recommend taking the safest route and taking a second to check before using a stall.




Visit if you need advice on a situation in your life.