Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You're wrong Danica McKellar, math does, in fact, suck.

You know how every middle-school aged kid gets frustrated with math and says, "Why do I have to do this anyway?  I'll never use this in my life!"  Being an English major, I never had an answer to that question because really, who gives a gigantic rat's ass what x is anyway?  Nobody cares.  After I got a D in Mr. Turry's 8th grade math, I sort of gave up.  (and by 'sort of' I mean 'totally')

I took one algebra course in high school and was excited if on the tests I got a double digit percentage correct.  12% AWESOME!  I usually wavered around the 9% area.  I was just going to blow it off and take Math for Today the next year to fulfill my math credits and call it quits on math altogether.  Unfortunately my dad, who was a teacher, happened to run into my math teacher at school one day and innocently asked how I was doing and good ole' Mr. Mueller said without hesitating, "She hasn't handed in one assignment all quarter.  She's getting an F."  What a blabbermouth.  So I spent my entire spring quarter doing algebra with my dad every single night for hours and hours.  I wonder who hated it more, me or Dad?

Now I'm the parent, and Sam got a bad grade in math so I'm trying to help him out at home and today I hit the wall on my math knowledge.  Yesterday was problems like this:  5m+18=15m-24-4m.  Easy.  Well, not exactly easy, I had to work this one problem at least three times before I got the right answer, but I got the right answer! (7!) Today's problems were like this:  -7/20f+2/5=1/4f.  I can get it down to 2/5=3/5f (and I don't even know if that's right, but it's damn close) but from there on, I don't know how to do it.  One of my answers was 15876/1218.  That just doesn't seem reasonable. 

So the answer to those kids who say, "Why do I have to do this!  I hate it!  I'll never have to use it!"  is "Yes you will, you will need it to help your child with his or her 7th grade math and believe me, you don't want to look like a total idiot in front of your 13 year old.  That totally sucks.


  1. Good ole Mr. Mueller...may he RIP. He failed me too, as I also hated math with a passion. Math for Tards was all we really needed.

    My husband loves math, so he gets to do the math homework when Corine gets to that point (probably next year...she's already smarter than me.)

    When you put in the math problem in your post, I just skimmed right over it, like "if I can't see it, it doesn't exist..."

  2. Mr. Mueller DIED? When? He seemed so young and healthy.

  3. Yes, I think about a year ago. Cancer, I believe.

  4. Holy crap! Poor Mr. Mueller's family. I bet it was because of all the math.

  5. f=8/75, just FYI.

    -7/2f + 2/5 = 1/4f
    2/5 = 1/4f + 7/2f
    2/5 = 1/4f + 14/4f
    2/5 = 15/4f
    2/5(4/15) = 15/4f(4/15)
    8/75 = f

    I love math but I think it's just because it's easy for me to pretend it's a game or puzzle. Basic algebra and arithmetic aren't nearly as interesting as calculus and geometry.

    My daughter Hailey hates it like poison, just like her mom. I'm having to drag her through Algebra II (logarithms this week) to get her finished up with HS. The boys are, as yet, reserving their votes on the subject.

    And by way of a complete non sequitur to this topic, I am going to be a grandfather in early November of this year.

    Thank you, and good night!


    and the math seems very easy when laid out like that. I had pages and pages of writing for that one problem, and then, according to your simple calculations, I got it wrong anyway. Good thing Mitch knows math or Sam would be SCREWED.

  7. I'm with you. I hate math. I'm okay at it, but it's just no fun and blahhh.

    When I took Probability and Statistics during undergrad, I had violent nightmares about the class. It was horrible.

    Math ruins lives.

    That's what the poster should say!

  8. No offense, but there's just something about Danica McKellar that I find, er, trustworthy.

  9. "Math ruins lives," that is such a good one, Tiffany. I might get a T-shirt that says that. I could wear it when I sub.

  10. I can relate! I was no math wizard myself and the only reason I passed calculus in college is because my now husband helped me. When I sub math and they ask questions, it freaks me out. Hang in there!

    By the way, you sounded just like your teenage self in this post.


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