Danica McKellar is still remembered by most people as Fred Savage’s on-screen love interest Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. Now, at age 33, she’s a math whiz and the author of books like Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math, which encourages girls in middle school to enjoy and succeed at mathematics. So far, both books have held steady positions on the New York Times bestseller top 10 list.
But the Wonder Years actress wasn’t always keen on math. In high school, she used to be so terrified of math and didn’t even think she would take up math as her major in college. But things had gotten better since then. And after realizing that the thought of math has become a hindrance for most people to pursue their dreams, McKellar has decided to empower girls with stories of fabulous women in fun careers that use math, showing them that “smart is sexy.”
“I didn’t think I could hack it,” Danica McKellar wrote in Kiss My Math. “Besides, who studies math in college other than people who want to be math teachers, right? Boy, was I wrong. Just ask my friend Nina. In college, Nina wanted to be a doctor more than anything in the world. She’d always wanted to deliver babies! She was smart, funny, and totally capable of doing whatever she set her mind to — until she found out that calculus was a required course. The idea of taking calculus scared her so much that she dropped out of the pre-med program and gave up her dream! And Nina isn’t the only one. Believe it or not, lots of people change their majors and abandon their dreams just to avoid a couple of math classes in college.”
So, what does “Kiss My Math” mean?
For McKellar, it’s like saying “Um, excuse me, I’m going to do whatever I want with my life, and I’m sure as heck not going to let a little math get in my way.”
After her stint on The Wonder Years, Danica McKellar played Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing and appeared as Maddie Monroe on Inspector Mom. Most recently, she guest starred as Trudy on two episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Hudson Street Press)