ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A recent graduate of the Betoota Heights Steiner School has exceeded her own expectations by mastering basic arithmetic in the face of overwhelming odds.

Dennise Carp, 19, finished her Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) last year with an OP 22, which even she finds hard to believe.

Going on to endure the shame of counting with her fingers in public, the creative Scorpio set about remedying her complete lack of mathematical knowledge.

“At my Steiner high school, they taught us to embrace who we are. To look deep within one’s self to find out our place in the world,” she said.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t involve learning anything vaguely useful. My teachers tried to teach us our times tables with slam poetry and tambourines, but that wasn’t going to work out, was it? So I set about fixing that myself.”

“The school still stands by teaching us basic maths through whip cracking and bongo drum exercises”

Ordering a small variety of primary school math textbooks online, Carp said she had problems at first – but slowly overcame them with a little patience and determination.

“How crazy is division? It’s like numbers inside of numbers, like people in a car or fish in a pond,” she said.

“I can add up in my head like a grown up. Until ten. But I keep a mini bongo drum in my purse if I need to go higher”

More to come.


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