A Dad Asked a Stranger to Help Him Learn Fractions on the Subway For the Sweetest Reason
Corey Simmons, a 40-year-old father from Rutherford, NJ, admits that math was never his strong suit. But despite forgetting most of the algebra he learned decades ago, Corey was determined to help his third-grade son master the concepts. Rather than trying to teach himself the ins and outs of fractions alone, he came up with a better idea: asking strangers for help on the subway. In a Facebook post, Denise Wilson, a 21-year-old mom, captured Corey getting the lowdown from a complete stranger, and yes, it's beyond sweet.
Denise wrote that on her way home from work, "the guy in the red sat down [opened] up his folder and started reading a few stops later the guy next to him sat down and asked him what he's studying [and said] you look a little confused." And Corey admits after attempting a problem or two, he was definitely confused. After his son failed a math test on fractions, the teacher sent him home with several worksheets that needed to be completed with a parent. And unfortunately for Corey, his skills were not up to par.
Corey explained that he knew he was in luck as soon as he laid eyes on the man. "He looked like a professor or something," he told The Washington Post. "He looked kind of smart in the books, like he knew something about math. "I said my son failed his test [and that I] haven't done fractions in a long time."
Thankfully, the former math teacher immediately agreed to give Corey a quick tutoring session, and by the end of the 20-minute ride, he had his fractions down pat. In that short time, the kind stranger was able to teach Corey how to change improper fractions to proper fractions and how to find the lowest common denominator.
For Denise, seeing the interaction was heartwarming, particularly amid the hustle and bustle of the New York City subway at rush hour. "By the end of my train ride [Corey] had a better understanding [of the material] . . . he can bring home [what he's learned] and teach his child. I really love seeing sh*t like this especially in New York."
Although the identity of the helpful stranger remains a mystery, Corey says he's beyond grateful because after all, there's never any shame in helping out your children. "You have to ask questions to get information. I'm not shy or ashamed to ask," he said, adding that, "I was letting him know 'I need help, you know, your assistance would be great here on the train.'"