Too Much Mail

I was wrapping up my meeting with Hans Brucker, who happens to be the latest state math champ.

I asked him, “Has winning the state math contest made your life different?”

“Overall, my life is the same,” said Hans. “I was in the paper. Then that stopped. The main thing that is different is that I have been getting a lot of mail.”

“What sort of mail? Fan mail?”

“Well, sort of. The mail I am getting is from Colleges where math is taught. I gota letter from a college in the United States. The name of the college is Yale. Is Yale a good place to take math classes?”

“Im not an expert on math, but I'll bet it is,” I said.

“Yes? Yale is good? OK, I will . . . what is it you say in English? J will make a note of that. But you see, there is a problem.”

“What's the problem?” I asked.

“Too much mail! You see, it is not just Yale. I am getting lots of letters. Yesterday I got a letter from a college named Penn State. Last week I got letters from Wisconsin and Cornell. So this is the problem: lots of colleges. They all write to say: ‘Pick us! Take a math class with us!’ Which one should 1 pick?”

“Hans,” I said, “this is what we call a good problem to have. If you think hard and stick with it, I just bet you will get this problem, too!”