## Wednesday, September 28, 2011

### Don't cry if your quadratic won't factor...the truth is the formula's faster.

Back in the day, when hair was big and shoulder pads were bigger, I underwent a form of torture.

Myself, and 26 other students were placed in a room in the sub-basement (seriously, a basement beneath the basement) of our high school to endure the rigors of Geometry for dummies.  I have no idea why our high school even had a sub-basement, unless of course, it was used as a bunker to hide oneself from hordes of zombies, which would explain the fact why many of the teachers at my high school looked liked the undead....but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, I was relegated to the dummy math class for three years running.  Each of my fellow students, looking green and sallow under the harsh sub-basement fluorescent lights, attempted to unravel the mysteries of the theorem everyday.

Our teacher, while kind (and un-dead) didn't give us any clue how to solve the basic math of the universe except to repeat herself over and over and point at the board with vehemence. Poor woman, all she received in return were 27 blank stares of students who would love to write her a poem about a theorem, or even perform an interpretive dance of the meaning of pi...or eat pie.  Either way, you get my drift.

Fast forward twenty years.  Through no genetic contribution on my part, I have brought forth two humans who can add, subtract, multiply, divide, calculate, memorize, equate, graph, and solve math problems.

Therefore, I have concluded, that I live in a house with a bunch of freaks.

Brace Face is in Jr. High...but she's taking a High School Algebra class.  Diastema is in early elementary school and is doing more advanced math than I was ever capable of calculating at any age.

Last night, he brought home a story problem.  It went something like this:

Jason and Bob together have 193 marbles. Bob has 47 marbles less than Jason; if Jason gives Bob 15 of them, how many more marbles does Jason have than Bob? Here's the answer.  No seriously, look at the solution, it takes up a page and I can't make heads or tails of it. However, to a sub-basement mathematician, the answer would be something like this:

Who cares who has more marbles?  Who plays marbles anymore?  Jason and Bob need to get off their duffs and go for a bike ride.  It will clear their heads and they can forget all about this marble business.

Or here's another:
Sally, Ron, Jim, and Meghan are President, VP, Treasurer, and Captain of the cheerleading squad, but not necessarily in that order. Who is what? Here's the answer.  But here's how I'd solve it:

Sally, Ron, Jim and Meghan sound like a bunch of overachievers.  I think they need to get off their duffs and go for a bike ride.  It will clear their heads and they can forget all about this totalitarian high school leadership business.

See my logic?  Bike riding can solve most math problems.
And if you don't believe me, I'd love to do an interpretive dance for you.

P.S. Did you know that you can sing the title of this post to Evita's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina"...?  Try it.

What was your worst subject in school?

1. I'm with you--math. I took 10 hours of (required) calculus in college. I couldn't tell you then and I can't tell you now what calculus was even invented to accomplish. My prof. passed me out of sympathy. And now I have two daughters who actually understand the meaning of the word "statistics". Greek to me.

2. Jan, lol!! I admire your tenacity! There's no way I could have sat through 10 hours of calculus, I'd rather poke my own eyes out!! :)

MontanaMuse, you crack me up and I just love you doll!

3. I like your version of math. It's much more entertaining. And I'd love to see you're interpretive dance. You should post it some time.

4. Now I want pie.

5. ...me too. :)

6. i too sat in that sub-basement but i was learning spanish, it was creepy, and our teachers was totally senior zombie.

7. oooo scary to think we were that near Dante's 7th circle and escaped unscathed!!

8. 1. I have never been ashamed of the fact that while my children view me as a walking, breathing thesaurus put on this earth for their English language needs, I suck at math.
2. I totally sang the post title to Evita. I <3 musical theatre! lol