# Can you do the Arithmetic?

By coffeebreak

@coffeebreak (17820)

United States

December 8, 2007 2:17pm CST

Used to be arithmetic. Then it was "the new math". What is it now ... other than hard? Do you remember how to spell arithmetic? A Rat In Tom's House Might Eat Tom's Ice Cream... 44 years laster and I still remember that. Can you claim the same profoundness?!?!? Kind of like up there with how did you learn to spell Mississippi? I did while doing jump rope championship in second grade! What did you learn to spell and how?

1 response

@drannhh (15240)

• United States

8 Dec 07

I was a clumsy kid and skinned so many knees playing jump rope, but I always went back for more. Any math is OK with me as long as it is taught next to the basics and leaves out political correctness...Uh, like someday we can't have ZERO because it might make people feel "empty" and that stuff. I still do a few simple math problems by hand to keep from losing the ability, but we have to admit these machines that do rapid "smart" calculations are helpful. I especially appreciate the one that lives in my pocket and everytime I spend something at a store, it gives me an up to the second total of how much I have left to spend that day, week, month, year, whatever. That kind of new math is killer.
I learned to spell by sitting on the front lawn all summer (after the chores were done, of course) reading the dictionary, because mum was so afraid I'd get smarter than her she wouldn't allow too many books in the house. It was beyond her comprehension that any kid of hers would be so bookish as to actually READ the dictionary. Boy was she wrong. I'm a pretty good speller as a result, so anything I do wrong on here is a TYPO, lol, lol.

1 person likes this

@coffeebreak (17820)

• United States

8 Dec 07

We always read. Trips to the library at least once sometimes twice a week for us. My 7 yo Gd is in second grade and they have some new math figureing - something about how you group the numbers to be added or something. Someone tried to explain it but it was so stupid I couldn't get it. Why not just teach them the tables and be done with it! But my GD was with me in the store the other day and I was buying 3 little artificial christmas tress for her to decorate and they were $12 each and said so on the box. I ws looking at something else and she said "Nanny do you know you are spending $36 here?" I looked at her so surprised! I had only know she was doing single digit adding! I asked her how did she know that was $36? She said "because I added ... (and she said something about adding numbers from groups) and came up with $36". But she couldn't exactly explain HOW the group thing worked and got flustered and couldn't finish what she was saying. But she did add it right! ANd this is not the first time she has done adding in her head in seconds like that. It seems she can "do it" it is just that she doesn't know WHAT she is doing to do what she did to get the right answer.
I always hated algebra cause I couldn't figure it out or why I was doing what I was doing. Many years later I was working and had to do a report ot break down costs of projects to make them more efficient and all, and suddenly I realized I was doing algebra! And it was so easy! and FUN!! Thing was, I know WHY i needed to do what the algebra said to do!

@drannhh (15240)

• United States

8 Dec 07

Your last point is so true! Because we had a bad algebra teacher in high school, the principal made everyone take the intermediate course over, and we were so outraged, as in why are WE being punished when it was the teacher who was bad. But then he made it up to us by being the best algebra teacher ever and teaching the class himself. WOW. When I started at the university everyone lived in terror of the mandatory math classes, but thanks to Mr. Mean-Guy, I aced all the entrance exams and was excused from having taken any college math.
There is hardly a day of my life that I don't use algebra for something and who is this age of New Math and Abstract Art and do-whatever-feels-good how much a background in geometry has helped me become a better artist.

1 person likes this