Algebra, Oh Algebra, How I Don’t Miss You!

To my high school Algebra teacher 20-plus years ago,

Do you remember how I asked you, “When am I ever going to use this?”  Well, I still haven’t used any of that algebra.

Yes, I know my 6th grader is now doing algebraic equations that I couldn’t help him with if I tried (thank goodness for Math Lab!)  I was reading over a question on his paper the other day.  Here is what the question said,

“Joel has twice as many CDs as Mariella has. Subtracting 7 from the number of CDs Joel has and dividing by 3 equals the number of CD’s Blake has. If Blake has 25 CDs, how many CDs does Mariella have?”

What?  Really?  I would probably just write on there, “I would text Mariella and ask her to count them for me.”  Yes, I know that isn’t using the algebra that the teacher wants them to use, but I’ve never been a fan of math problems.  Don’t even get me started on Common Core stuff…sigh!  I know that it is important to teach things so that different students learn how to “divide” in way they can understand….BUT if by teaching them 4 different ways to divide, some kids NEVER learn to do it proficiently or are so confused that they can’t figure out the answer anyway, is that really beneficial?

Okay, I’m off my soapbox.

I am glad there are scientists and mathematicians who do know and LOVE Algebra so that I don’t have to.  I am glad we each have our own strengths and that we don’t have to be perfect in every subject!  Whew!  And I am glad that I don’t live in a world where I have to do Algebra every day.

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