Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Algebra?


Monday Musings on This ‘N That

This is from USA Science &  Engineering Festival (I found it on Facebook):

“Dear Algebra,
Stop asking us to find your X.
She’s not coming back.
We don’t know Y either.”


Remember all those courses in school we HAD to take? We sometimes didn’t think the school should have required us to take a lot of classes we did take. But ALGEBRA?!

Why take Algebra because we’d never have a use for it. A homemaker wouldn’t need algebra to bake a cake. A secretary wouldn’t need Algebra to type and answer the phone. A mechanic would have no need to know Algebra to work on machines or put a tire on a car. A pastor wouldn’t need Algebra skills to communicate and feed his flock. Even a CEO of a multi-million dollar company has no need for Algebra.

So…..WHY did they make us take it? I don’t know.

Back when I was in high school girls had to take Home Economics. Now they call a class Social something and girls and boys can take it as an elective. But back to my Home Ec class. We took the first half of the year to sew a dress. A simple, straight shift dress with a side zipper. Half a year!

Then the second half of the year we learned about the kitchen. We mastered  one dish—a jelly roll. Yes, a jelly roll. As I remember, we made dough, flattened it into a rectangle (oops, maybe we couldn’t have done that without algebra). We baked it and let it cool. Then we spread jelly all over the baked rectangle. We rolled the concoction and ta da … we had a jelly roll.

I’ve never made a jelly roll since then and certainly have not sewn a shift dress. But if I ever try to make a jelly roll, I’ll have the algebra skills to make that rectangle.

What about you? Did you ever waste your time learning something that you never ever will need to use again? If so, share it with us, please.


Till next time … keep on smiling.

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