At school I was dreadful at maths.
I felt that a lot of the maths I was taught was pointless; calculus, quadratic equations, trigonometry and so on. I will never forget The Old Archaeologist Sat On His Coat And Hat but have yet to find a use for it*. Being able to increase quantities by 25% so that a recipe serves 5 instead of 4 has been of tremendous use however.
The thing with a maths problem though is that there is always a correct answer.
RE, on the other hand, is not so straightforward.
This was my 12 year old daughter's RE homework this week;
'Interview your parents and ask them to explain the meaning of life'.
Katie, bless her, had no idea of the utter ridiculousness of this question and sat pen in hand waiting for our answer. 'I've got to write at least half a page' she said.
'Well, '42'** isn't going to fill half a page' said Charlie.
' Katie, there is no meaning to life, it just is' I said.
'I can't write that, it isn't enough'
'Do you want me to write your teacher a note explaining that I can't explain the meaning of life because I was away when it was covered at school?'
'No, I'll get into trouble'
'Of course you won't, this is a completely unreasonable thing to ask'
'I'll copy Emily, she always writes loads.'
'let me know what the answer is won't you?'
I think we should smell the roses and get on with life instead of wasting time trying to explain it.
* handy mnemonic for remembering that Tan = Opposite over Adjacent etc
**The answer to life, the universe and everything from The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.