Whether we like it or not, mathematics is life. Ever had a cake with too much sugar? Ever get incorrect change back from a cashier. Someone screwed up the math! Ever see a crooked building? It’s why carpenters say measure twice, cut once. Proficiency in math is proficiency in life. Ever stopped to wonder that if the earth’s atmosphere were not precisely 78% oxygen, 21% nitrogen and 1% other gases you probably wouldn’t be reading this. At least not sitting up anyway. So you humanities graduates have finally got to admit it, math is life.
If you’re as old as President Obama you probably remember what was called the “new math”, which was adopted by many American public schools during the 1960’s. I’m not exactly sure why it happened but I consider myself a survivor of the “new math”. Along about eighth grade I remember sitting in math class and staring at the blackboard in silent seizures of violent panic. I felt as though I was looking at Chinese. Up until then I’d been categorized as a high academic achiever, yet I just could not grasp these concepts. None of it made sense to me. However to be fair I’ll assign 25 percent of my sudden math-lapse to my lack of comprehension.
I’ll also accept another 25 percent of the blame even though it was mostly due to the class seating arrangement. The primary problem was directly to my left in the person of Amanda Q., whose nascent womanhood was in full blossom in every conceivable way. Though that was not her “real” name as you might imagine I had very “real” feelings for her. Unfortunately, I had not yet mastered the ability to capably function around such pulchritude; and since I sometimes wonder if I’ve completely mastered it yet, I humbly concede I’m guilty now. I was guilty then. read more »