ASK LOIS TERMS


REBECCA S. LINDSAY
PRIVATE TUTOR
NORTHERN KENTUCKY, 41017/ CINCINNATI, OHIO


Lois Terms was the creation of a seventh grade math student who was struggling with fractions and definitely bored with the process of learning them. Thrown into a tutoring situation, the student's attention wandered and her performance was inconsistent. She had to be constantly reminded to put her answers in lowest terms.

"Lowest terms! Lowest terms! That's all you ever talk about!' she complained loudly to her tutor.

At that moment the creative genius hit. "Oh, I get it," she exclaimed. "Lois Terms!" Taking a sheet of paper and a set of colored markers she sketched out a young woman and named the character, "Lois Terms." Then she went on to create an interesting, if unusual, history for Lois.

Lois Terms began her career as a limbo dancer. Practicing day and night in her parents' garage with little more than a sawed-off broomstick, Lois quickly rose to the heights of her chosen profession as she pushed the limits of the bar and her 5 feet 6 inch frame lower and lower.

After winning a national championship, Lois went on tour demonstrating her skill at discos and shopping malls all across the United States. In time, however, as a result of injuries and stresses placed on her back, Lois found it increasingly difficult to defend her title. Other younger, more supple women, were just waiting for the chance to knock Lois off her limbo throne.

Fortunately for Lois, she had a second skill to fall back on. In high school and college, even while training for her limbo career six hours a day, she had studied her math. Faced with the decline of her status as a star in the limbo world, Lois retired and began writing an advice column for middle school math students.

Today, Lois lives in a condo with her mixed-breed dog, G.C.F., and a goldfish named L.C.M. She dedicates her time and efforts to the task of making the world of math understandable and exciting to middle grade students.


"Meet Lois Terms"
(c) 1996 Lindsay-Livingston

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