Laura Overdeck

by Grace from Mission Viejo

"If you can count from 1 to 20 - you have something to teach" -Laura Overdeck
Portrait photo (http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/2014/03/new_jerse (John Munson))
Portrait photo (http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/2014/03/new_jerse (John Munson))

Have you ever been approached by a friend who asked you for help with math homework and then blanked and felt completely embarrassed? This has happened to me before, but also helped lead me to the discovery of my personal career hero, Laura Overdeck. She is the author of the children's book series Bedtime Math. I first found out about her when I was watching her TEDx talk about how, as said in the video's description, she wants "to help raise a new generation that never feels math anxiety". When I grow up I would like be an author. I have always enjoyed fictional stories in my free time and helping others learn, especially with math, which I have always thought of as a fun thing to do. These are both things that Laura gets to do with her Bedtime Math books.

Being an author is a very creative career and creates a lot of possibilities and opportunities. Authors can write about or produce material for a specific audience. For example someone who works for a magazine might write about advice and life experiences, while a writer who works for online publications might write about and research current events. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, authors typically need a bachelor's degree in subjects such as English, journalism, or communication. Writers will also most likely be required to have experience from on-the-job training. The career of writing is expected to grow about 3% by 2022 and there will be strong competitions for job openings. The annual wage of writing is $55,940. Careers that are related to writing include being a public relations and fundraising manager, a technical writer, and a public relations specialist. A recent development about writing is having the ability to use new software and to be familiar with technology since many people don't read from actual paper books anymore. Even newspapers have moved online.

When Laura Overdeck was younger she excelled in mathematics and science. Even, as a child, she would memorize perfect squares. In college she was the only female in her astrophysics class. She now holds a bachelor's degree in the subject. Laura has always been interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and in advancing it in education. Laura Overdeck goes to events like her TEDx Talk (January 2013) and the 2014 National Book Fair to encourage others to overcome math anxiety. Two milestones in her career so far are founding Bedtime Math and starting the Crazy 8's Club. This club helps children learn to appreciate math. Laura is currently writing daily engaging math problems for the Bedtime Math website, app, and books providing a fun way for kids to learn.

In action photo (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/n-j-mom-mak (CBS New York))
In action photo (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/n-j-mom-mak (CBS New York))

Many people will start to panic at the sight of a math problem; this is known as math anxiety. As said in her TEDx Talk, Laura Overdeck with the help of Bedtime Math is trying to put forward a new generation that doesn't feel math anxiety. As said in Meghan Cox Gurdon's article written on July 5, 2013 on the Wall Street Journal website, "Behind [this book] beats a heart of pure genius. Author Laura Overdeck wants to make the pleasure and beauty of mathematics a part of children's routines-outside of school, away from textbooks, and at the coziest time of everyone's day." Her Bedtime Math series provides math problems for young children to solve before their bedtime like bedtime story, but with math. The series works to have children actually enjoy doing math even when they're not at school. Laura Overdeck, at the 2014 National Book Festival explained that her book is to show just how fun math can be in everyday situations. Eventually, Laura hopes, kids will get excited about math like they do about dessert after dinner.

When I grow up I plan to be involved in writing children's book stories like my personal career hero, author Laura Overdeck. In high school I plan to participate in volunteer work through school clubs, so that I can have new experiences and observe new things that I might incorporate into my writing. I also plan on, in my senior year, to take English: Literature and Composition Advanced Placement. I will also, hopefully be able to complete the Careers in Teaching Regional Occupational Course to get an understanding on children's education. For college I plan to go to University of California Irvine. There I plan on majoring in English. After I have finished my college education, or even during my college I plan on writing an educational children's book. I would like to write fun and wacky books on all sorts of educational subjects like grammar, science, history, and maybe even math too. Laura Overdeck helps people for the better. She teaches young children how to use and apply important mathematical skills through fun and silly stories. Those children can then grow up and not be afraid of math and hopefully pass their knowledge on to others helping to educate the world little by little. Like Overdeck, hopefully, one day I can write books that will encourage children to look forward to learning.

Related Links

Bedtime Math: - Bedtime Math website
Allergic to algebra | Laura Overdeck | TEDxWestVillageWomen: - Laura Overdeck's TEDx Talk