Jabberwocky for 2005 November 3 (entry 0)

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Observations on Food Storage, by Susie >

[Comments] (6) I'm here to tell you...: ... that I have never in my life used algebra. (Not precisely true; I taught in a bilingual self-contained classroom for two years, and I had to fake it.)

I've used geometry a few times, designing patterns for costmes, building a fishpond, sewing window treatments, etc., but never, never, never algebra.

I heard on NPR this morning about a school district in Maryland that has an algebra class for parents. Many parents were quoted--nobody knows how to do algebra, and now they are trying to play catch-up.

I know all the reasons why algebra is taught. It develops your brain and stretches your cognitive skills, yada yada. I've done just fine without it, so I'm not sure that is a good excuse for torture. I'm just sayin'.


Posted by John at Thu Nov 03 2005 09:57

I use algebra every day as an accountant. Anyone who balances a checkbook on a regular basis uses algebra. I love algebra. Way better than geometry.

Posted by Kristen at Thu Nov 03 2005 10:55

Who balances checkbooks these days? I just look online, and remember the checks I write that haven't gone through. Sure it has gotten me into some trouble once or twice, but certainly worth the hours I would had tied up balancing the checkbook. Of course not everyone remembers things like I do. ;)

Posted by Susie at Thu Nov 03 2005 11:25

I successfully kept 3 perfectly balanced "checkbooks" for several years. I have recently given up, because I never use the computer all the information is kept on. But I've never once gotten in trouble with my checking account, and it doesn't take so long that the $25 overdraft I saved wasn't worth it.

Yay Geometry! People who need calculus need algebra.

Posted by Frances at Thu Nov 03 2005 17:11

Addition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision. I use basic arithmetic to balance my checkbook. That is, I did before Quicken.

Posted by Alyson at Thu Nov 03 2005 19:07

Ha! If I knew Algebra, I would build an equation to help me decide which admission package is best considering I go swimming at my community aquatic center about once a week with a 5 year old that also costs. Then there's this question: how many times would I have to go in order to utilize the year pass? Here, John, I'd be dazzled if you could figure it out for me: http://lprd.org/aquatics/admission.shtml

Posted by Susie at Fri Nov 04 2005 09:29

Oh, John can do that. He figured out it took 7 trips to Disneyland to pay off our tickets.

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