Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are you a math moron?

Back when Shannon taught 7th grade math, she would often bring home her work in the form of gigantic piles of ungraded worksheets, tests, and homework. She still brings home the mounds of paper, but now, thankfully, they are covered in igneous rocks and simple machines, not fractions and algebraic torture.

Some of these ungraded items lacked the all-important answer key. Someone, usually Shannon, would have to work the assigment correctly one time to generate the key.

One day, I was drafted into this duty. "Piece of cake," I thought. After all, by profession I crunch through numbers like wafer thin saltine crackers. I calculate margin percentages on the fly, net out revenues, and tabulate margins with the best of em. Fractions are nothing. Ha! Our numbers are in the tens of millions, billions even!

Well, this stuff kicked my medulla oblongata. A familiar dull headache and a sense of suffocating claustrophobia swept over me as I waded into the math problems. 30 painful minutes later, the deed was done; the beast had been slain. My brow was drenched in sweat, and my neck ached with the nostalgic pain from the "Homework Hunch-over" of years gone by.

A wise person once said, "Math is not a spectator sport." I couldn't agree more. Broadway musicals, operas, and sporting events are for spectators. Math homework is something much more painful, and ticket scalpers would never be able to make a living off of it.

Since that day, I never touched another math homework or test. I had been humbled and shaken to my core. Math was as rough as I remembered. Kudos to all the math teachers out there who work on this stuff every single day!

Slate Article: "The Math Moron"

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris F. here.....

If you want to feel really math-defied, try watching one of those math contests that show up on tv around the same time as the spelling bee each year. The kids answer before I even understand the question.

Matty said...

Can I get an example??? Just tonight at dinner the topic of how to calculate the area (or circumference??) of a sphere came up, and I immediately got tired head. Is that the same as a circle? or is there more pi involved? possibly a squared??? zzzzzzzzzzzz.....soooo tired all of a suddennnn

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kudo's to math teachers. Shannon's grandmother was also a algebra teacher in high school. I watcher her grade papers until midnight sometimes. I do not know how she did it.

Chris said...

2x Pi x R squared? Is that right? Ughh.

shannon said...

Close-4 X Pi X R squared for surface area...I will never go back into the trenches of math homework again...I hate it!

Anonymous said...

Noooo...cake r square, pi r round