When I was growing up in a small town in northern Kentucky, I attended a small, rural school. All my family, my cousins, my aunts, my uncles and even my father attended the same school. And we all had one thing in common...Ms. Lantern! Ms. Latern taught all of us math in the 7th and 8th grades. She was a tough ole' bird who was the quintessential disciplinarian. There were two things about her classroom that were a were going to learn math under her watch and you were not going to misbehave in her class! Back in those days, parents supported teachers' right to administer corporal punishment and while I do not know Ms. Lantern's spiritual orientation I'm pretty sure she was familiar with the whole "spare the rod, spoil the child" thing. We all understood that being taken out in the hallway by Ms. Lantern was not going to be fun and passionately avoided behaviors that resulted in such action.

Now before I go any further, I will say that Ms. Lantern's students learned more math than one could possibly imagine. While she was tough, she was also committed and if a child was struggling she made it her business, no obsession, to teach that child math. And we were all the better for her dedication to both math and discipline.

But one of Ms. Lantern's "hot buttons" if you will, was a child who was not applying themselves to learning, i.e., the lollygagger. Lollygagging was something that brought out the dark side of Ms. Lantern and her frustration with the lollygagger often lead her to use a phrase that left an indelible impression on my mind..."USE SOME HORSE SENSE YOUNG MAN!" she would belt out with the HORSE being pronounced "HARSE". Ms. Lantern's definition of HARSE SENSE was really her way of saying common sense. "Just think about it for a minute!" she would say. "IF A + B = C and A + D = C, then what is the value of D? USE YOUR HARSE SENSE! Break it down, young man! Put simple numbers that you understand in the equation and then the equation makes sense!"

That was Ms. Lantern's way of making theoretical mathematics manageable and understandable. HORSE SENSE! Take the complex and break it down into its simplest parts and then the whole thing makes sense. This blog is dedicated to the concept of HORSE SENSE. Life can be challenging and can become overwhelming, sorta like math to some junior high students can create significant anxiety. Dr. Thomas' HORSE SENSE blog strives to break down the complexities and use common sense reasoning and simple solutions to solve those confusing life issues.

Thank you for visiting us today!

Dr. Russell Thomas, PhD


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