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Man Helps Teach Math To A Stranger On The Subway—And Restores Our Faith In Humanity

Denise Wilson boarded the New York City subway, heading back towards her home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when she noticed something a little out of the ordinary. Across from her was a man in red (whom she later learned to be one Corey Simmons), struggling with what appeared to be math homework. A few stops later, another passenger boarded the train and began nosily looking over Simmons' shoulder. What he did next "filled [Wilson's] heart with warmth."

It turns out Simmons was re-learning fractions to help his son, and the stranger on the train just happened to be a former math teacher! Wilson told the story to People:

I saw him open the notebook watched him go through it, and a few stops later, another guy got on the train and he started leaning over and being a little nosey, trying to see what he was doing. Then I overheard him tell the stranger that his son failed a math test, so he was relearning fractions to help him because he hadn’t done them in years…When I saw that, my heart filled up with so much warmth. Dads don’t get enough credit sometimes, I feel like. And come to find out, Corey is a single father. That’s amazing to me.

Wilson says the stranger was a patient teacher:

Everything that Corey didn’t understand, the guy broke it down for him and showed him different methods on how he could do it.

Wilson posted a picture of the pair on her Facebook later that night, and it quickly went viral, with over 44k shares and 123k.

So today omw from work the guy in the red sat down opend up his folder and started reading a few stops later the guy…

Posted by Denise Wilson on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Simmons, the man in the red jacket, later told CBS New York he's glad a friendly stranger was there to help:

You need help sometimes, and you shouldn’t want to bite your tongue, to not ask for the help. So don’t feel shy to ask someone for help. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you fail, it’s what you do after you fail.

It seems not all the stories that come out of the big city are sad and cynical. Wilson commented to People:

It felt good that two complete strangers could come together — regardless of skin color — to teach each other. I feel both of them left each other with a gift.

H/T – People, Denise Wilson/Facebook


Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--