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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Short, Dramatic Story...

Daughter with Algebra homework:
Mom, I need help with my math.(imagine a female whining)

Okay. Bring it here.

Background: Mother graduated from high school in 1976.

(Mother looks at the problem, refreshes memory from ~several~ examples, tries a few and checks her work for accuracy (*cough*), and begins to explain how to solve it.)

Mom... What are you doing? That's not how Ms. ____ did it. I don't understand this. I can't do it. I guess I'll just get a zero (Add *pitiful* whine and tearing eyes.)

You can do it. You just have to take it step by step.

Mother starts back at the beginning and continues to explain the processes wondering how in the world these teachers explain something by using their "modern" shortcuts.

Daughter is now in full-blown "feeling sorry for herself" mode.

A reference is made by the daughter that the mother doesn't know what she is doing. Mother assures daughter that she does know what she is doing. *cough*

I can't do it. I don't know why I need to know this stuff anyway. I'll never use Algebra.

You need Algebra to get into college.

Then I guess I won't be going to college then.(add "teenage tone" here>

You'll be surprised at all the things you'll use from school when you get older.

Well I won't be using Algebra.

Yes you will.

No I won't, 'cause I'm not going to college.

You'll still need Algebra, because some day you'll be trying to help one of your kids with their math homework.

Then I'm not having any kids.

Me, pondering:
hmmm... algebra=birth control?, birth control=algebra?... Go figure.

End Note:

The daughter ended up understanding the algebraic equations. And yes, the little family duo was able to complete the homework assignment ~without tears~.

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Blogger Dreaming again said...

oh my I wish you'd been around when I was hit that!!

My conversation went (exactly ... I remember it word for word ... it haunts me to this day) like this. It was between me and my principal. My goal for my life was to be a doctor.

Principal: Peggikaye, you have to take algebra this year, you didn't take it last year, you're a sophomore, you have to have it.

ME: Do I have to show my work?

Principal: Well, yes, of course.

Me: Then, I'm not taking it (full of teenaged tone)

Principal: You HAVE to take it!

ME: No, I don't!

Principal: Yes, you do, without it, you'll never become a doctor!!

Me: Fine, *shrugs* I won't become a doctor then. (said as flat toned and matter of fact as if I'd just said Fine, I'll wear the yellow sweater then)

Principal: No, Peggikaye, you have to take it, or you can't go to COLLEGE!

Me: Fine. (getting up to walk out) Take me off the college prep list.

I left his office.

I did not take it ... I was removed from the college prep list because my mom wouldn't argue with me ... and ... the dream I'd had since I was *THREE* to be a doctor went flying out the window.

I did not look back until I was out of high school for 5 years! Then, 1 year in college and I got sick with Myasthenia Gravis ..before I could make up the algebra ...

oh, what I might have accomplished if I'd learned it!!!

oh ..and if she really thinks she won't use it .... she will be oh so surprised at how much it really does come up in daily living!! It's just that once you know it, you don't have to show your work *grin*

September 12, 2007 12:53 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Just reading that gives me nightmares!

I was never "gifted" in Algebra, nor any other math that soon followed. I feel sick just thinking about when my kids will ask me for help with their math homework *sweat*

Glad she (and you) got through it ;-)

September 12, 2007 4:17 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Peggikaye...

We all have regrets from an attitude that "throws the baby out with the bath water".

And it is amazing how much you'll use this stuff when you're a 'wizened' adult. It's like you never get to get out of school!

;+ )

Hey Pattie...

I know exactly how you feel. I never was a math whiz either, but I did discover something interesting on my own from personal experience and from homeschooling so many different foster children.

I really believe that there is a "maturity" in the brain that has to transpire to be able to comprehend certain math concepts and processes. Personally, I have found that the older I get, the easier it is for me to comprehend it. It also helps me to have patience with the kids when they say they can't understand it, because really... they can't.

So take heart... I'm sure that you'll do just fine.

But not just because you're getting *older*.



September 12, 2007 6:19 AM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...


ahh i got it i'll just ring up moof she helped me with mine at devry LOL *grin* hope she dosn't mind;)

love the new form of bc

September 12, 2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

to funny how it goes around that way...I can remember saying similar things to my mom...and my daughters saying similar things to me...gosh somethings just never change....

September 14, 2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger Beaman said...

I'm pretty certain your daughter is better at Maths than me. Algebra went right over my head, as did everything to do with numbers.

September 15, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Wolfbaby...

I didn't think to call Moof.

Good idea!

Hey Smalltown...

It is amazing how things do stay the same from generation to generation.

Hey Beaman...

I don't know about that, but I think that everyone has their strong suit. Sometimes it's writing like you do.


September 15, 2007 6:23 PM  

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