Father from viral math video: 'I was overwhelmed'
A British father whose emotional reaction to his son’s passing grade in math has become a viral video is not surprised that the spontaneous joy between a father and son has resonated with so many people.
“I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and the kindness of everyone who has communicated with us,’’ Farnoosh Shahrokhshahi told TODAY in an interview with his son on Wednesday. “It’s absolutely wonderful, absolutely moving. I have to say that at one point I did not find it surprising at all because the vast majority of people are lovely. They appreciate love wherever they see it.’’
Shahrokhshahi’s son, Aria, had received an “F’’ in math (or "maths," as the British term it) for a marking period in Sept. 2012, but rose his grade to a passing “C’’ by Jan. of this year. He was in tears after his teacher told him of his improved grade and decided to surprise his father with the news while capturing his reaction on video.
In the YouTube clip titled “The day I passed maths,” which has more than 1.5 million views, Aria shows Farnoosh his report card. Farnoosh excitedly responds, “Is that real? Is that real? My God!” He then begins crying and hugging his son in a touching scene of life's little victories between a father and son.
“I knew how he would react,’’ Aria told TODAY. “He’s a very emotional guy. I didn’t know he was going to be that loud and emotional. It was a little bit crazy.”
“Basically, Aria has always found math difficult,’’ Farnoosh said. “To go from an F to a C is a huge jump. It’s the same as going from a C to an A-star. I was just overwhelmed, absolutely overwhelmed.”
While the video was taken earlier this year, Aria did not post it on YouTube until Oct. 21.
“Everyone is so nice on all the comments,’’ Aria said. “Everyone’s congratulating me, I’ve been getting tweets, and everyone has been saying how much of a good father I’ve got. It was a very important moment in my life. I thought why not share one of the happiest moments in my life with the world, so that’s why I just put it on.”
Aria is now in college, and the good news is that he doesn’t have to worry much about math.
“At college I’m actually studying cooking because I want to go traveling later on to the (United) States, and I think it’s a good talent to have to work in restaurants and such,’’ he said. “Because I passed math, I don’t have to do it anymore, which is a big relief.”
It’s also probably good for his father’s health that he no longer has to worry about math. TODAY’s Carson Daly asked what Farnoosh’s reaction would be if Aria made the jump to a “B’’ or an “A.”
“I will have a heart attack,’’ Farnoosh joked.