A healthy ratio between time spent working and with the one's family is essential if one expects to be happy on the home front.

What was your favorite class in elementary school?

PE? (We're talking academics.)

Reading? (Did the fox ever make it over that lazy dog?)

Geography? (Seriously, as a resident of Missouri, why should I care that the states bordering Connecticut are Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York?)

History? (Is it really true that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it?)

Grammar? (I still have nightmares of diagramming a sentence.)

Science? (Maybe this is where my fascination with lightning took root.)

Math? (Where the concept of doing it by the numbers begins.)

Considering the amount of time that has passed since I could hardly wait for the next recess break and thrilling game of kickball, I can't honestly answer that question. However, I'm pretty certain it was not geography. (My question about the location of Connecticut still stands.)

And while I'd wager any number of my former grammar teachers would have bet their retirement pensions that I would be more likely to wind up making license plates for the Missouri Department of Corrections than earning my daily bread as a writer, you can bet now I'm glad I stayed awake in grammar class, at least part of the time.

Looking back I suspect that math was my favorite class. Why? Because I could see the benefit in knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Mastery of those skills proved particularly important when it came time to calculate important things like batting averages and earned-run averages, which back in the '60s were the most important stats to a young baseball fan.

Those numerical skills continued to benefit me years later as a sports editor when it came time to figure up rushing averages during the fall and rebounding totals in the winter.

As time passed I was introduced to other mathematical concepts. My level of interest varied depending on each new idea's perceived impact on life in general.

While I don't remember particularly enthused when introduced to ratios, it has since become apparent that ratios have an important influence on one's life, both large and small.

Ratios help determine one's level of health. If the ratio of certain essential minerals get out of whack in your body the consequences can range from just not feeling right to being fitted for a casket.

If the ratio between the calories you take in and burn off isn't properly balanced you will likely lose sight of your feet when standing up straight.

Ratios can come into play in personal relationships. If you are married, it's intended to function as a one-to-one relationship when it comes to intimacy. If one partner or the other expands it beyond that ratio someone may find themselves in the market for a good divorce lawyer.

A healthy ratio between time spent working and with the one's family is essential if one expects to be happy on the home front.

The list of important ratios goes on and on.

Who got me thinking about the importance of ratios? My wife, Nancy.

She recently made a multi-layer salad that goes well with corn chips, which work well as a shoveling tool.

On that particular night I was having trouble finishing my salad and chips at the same time. Either I'd have leftover salad, which required grabbing a few more chips, or I'd have some chips left on my plate, which demanded another spool full of salad.

After watching in silence, Nancy finally noted, “It can be a real challenge sometimes finding the right chip-to-dip ratio.”

Or any other of life's right ratios.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.