What is the key to being a strong writer?
While there are many important aspects of writing, including knowing your audience, strong grammar skills, and a diverse vocabulary, I believe the most important part of writing is critical thinking. The ability to take your thoughts and lay them out in a way that other people can understand and that makes logical sense is the absolute most important skill a writer can develop. A strong understanding of your audience is useless unless you are able to explain things to that audience. Good grammar is nice, but if what you are saying makes no sense to the reader, then no amount of grammar is going to salvage your writing. A diverse vocabulary can make a writer sound intelligent, but if all those words are nothing but gibberish to your reader, then there is no point in writing them.
If your student isn't naturally inclined towards math or a career involving mathematics, then why should they worry about it?
Math is an essential skill that every person will need to use at some point in their life, no matter what career path they choose to follow. Having a basic understanding of math will allow your student to stand out from others when competing for career opportunities. In addition, understanding math builds the ability to think logically, which can then be applied to a variety of non-math related subjects. This is why simply using a calculator to solve basic math is not sufficient, doing so does not build the ability to think logically.
Why do we study literature? Why do the books of the past have any bearing on our present or future?
We study literature because by understanding the thoughts and intentions of those in the past, we are better able to understand the opinions of those around us. Studying literature causes us to become more open and easily able to connect with other people, allowing us to succeed socially. In addition, it also allows us to understand the motives that drove the people of the past, which increases our understanding of history and the major events that occurred during the time a piece of literature was written.