Boston Teaches Us a New Kind of Math

boston-strongThere is old, traditional math.  When I was in school they began teaching what they called the new math.  And now there is yet another new math.  This one is called The Boston Equation.

The Boston Equation follows several principles already used in basic math.  It uses operands and operators just like the older math forms.  In most cases, operands occur on the left and right sides of an operator.  Basic enough, but this new thing is different.

It’s different because it comes from Boston and its suburbs.  It comes from its people, its law enforcement agencies and the spirit of the community itself.  Let’s have a math lesson, shall we?

Operand – Noun;  The quantity on which an operation is to be done

Operator – Noun;  A symbol or function representing a mathematical operation

You know how the city of Boston kicked off their week last week.  You know that two bombing suspects were identified from miles of video footage scoured by hundreds of law enforcement officials.  You probably know what happened Thursday night beginning in Cambridge, and you probably know about the full city and suburban lockdown that took place on Friday all the way up to the second suspect being taken alive while hiding out in a boat parked in a back yard in Watertown.

Here comes the math.  Don’t be intimidated, because it’s quite simple and easy to follow.

[operand 1, the left side of the equation]

You probably know all about all the stuff I have already mentioned.  But something you may not have known before this tragedy began has leaped into the forefront across these United States of America:  The people of the city of Boston and the communities that surround it are more than a hearty bunch.  They are more than a people who care for and about their neighbors.  They transcend their diverse cultural and ethnic heritage, molding a solid unit of humanity.



[operand 2, the right side of the equation]

The law enforcement agencies involved at the bombing scene, the subsequent investigation, and ultimately the successful manhunt that ensued last Friday showed not only an incredible amount of teamwork but also their committment to the safety of the citizens who had spent the week engulfed in the fear of the unknown and a kind of numbness and shock.  These officials were exhausted by the time the manhunt ended, but they accomplished their two goals;  Keeping the people of the Boston area safe, and apprehending the suspect alive so information can be obtained to help us further understand this tragedy and administer justice.

So, there are your operands and the operator, so go ahead and do the math!

[operand 1] + [operand 2] = BOSTON STRONG

My wife and I were home all day Friday as the city of Boston and several of its suburbs were locked down.  I go to school in Waltham and my wife works in Waltham, one of the suburbs that were on lockdown.  So we followed the request of law enforcement officials and stayed home.  We watched the TV all day, at times having to turn it off because of the stress it caused.  Although we live a good 17 miles west of Boston, we live fairly close to the suburbs that were affected.  We have friends and co-workers who live and work in those communities.  The possibility of the suspect getting out of the city and possibly even extending his reign of terror to the town we live in crossed our minds more than once.

It all made for a white-knuckle ride through the mind of a twisted, deranged American terrorist.  Friends were checking in on Facebook to let everyone know they were safe.  The feeling of constant apprehension is something you don’t want to experience.  It is unnerving, surreal, and unreal.

Then the news came of the apprehension of the suspect.  There was a joy and a sadness all at the same time.  Sadness for the victims and their families who will forever be affected by this senseless tragedy.  Joy for the lifting of those feelings of apprehension.  And this morning, the day after it all, a certain calm and resolution.  A terrorist in the hospital, alive and about to face the force of justice.  A community of people, stronger than ever before and law enforcement who once again showed their steadfast committment to the people and communities they serve.

Boston and it’s communities lifted a collective middle finger to the world of terrorism.  Fenway Park will be filled for this afternoon’s Red Sox game, the Bruins are playing their game at The Garden that was cancelled yesterday, and when Monday gets here, the city of Boston and surrounding towns will pick up where they were forced to leave off, and continue on.

This new kind of math makes me proud of the people of Greater Boston and its tireless law enforcement agencies.  It makes me proud to know many people who live and work here.  We went through it all together and in the end, the result of this simple, new math says it all.


Related article: Boston and the World Rise Above Terrorism

Leave a comment


  1. Michelle Boyer

     /  April 20, 2013

    Well done Kurt, couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m feeling so much better today as it was an exhausting, crazy and intense week. I’m so proud of the the way everyone here handled it. I’m passing this on to others!

    • Thank you, Michelle. The Bruins just scored a few minutes ago at The Garden (1-0 over Pittsburgh)…the healing has begun!



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