Remember fifth-grade math? Yeah... Neither did police Lt. B.J. Gruber, but he still responded to the call of duty when a 10-year-old girl asked for help on Facebook.
Lena Draper had been struggling with the order of operations (PEMDAS), so she reached out to the people she thought could solve the problem — the police department of Marion, Ohio.
At first, she received a standard automated response, but then Gruber replied, “What’s up?”
Lena shared the problem she’d been struggling with: “Well I don’t understand (8+29)x15.”
A tough one, but Gruber nailed it👏
The lieutenant has four kids of his own, ranging in age from a third-grader to a college-student, and is no stranger to homework queries. Math, however, is not his forte.
"My wife usually does the math homework and I take the other stuff because I don't remember how to do it," he told BuzzFeed News.
Molly Draper, Lena's mom, couldn't believe her daughter had messaged the police about a math question. “We never truly thought they’d respond," she said. Thankful and surprised, Draper shared the exchange on Facebook, and it's since gone viral.
Lena enjoys math, but “new concepts are always overwhelming," Draper said. Stumped by this lesson, the fifth-grader got resourceful.
And seeing that Gruber was committed to the cause, Lena asked him another (harder) question.
Here’s where Gruber wishes he remembered the helpful mnemonic device “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction). He told Lena to add first before multiplying. But still, valiant effort.
“Maybe should have mentioned that history was my favorite subject before answering,” he joked.