## Tuesday, March 22, 2011

### The Unfound Variable In Math Is My Brain

Yesterday when the boys came over after school... that sounds funny to me. Before the split between their mother and I, it was "the boys came home", but they live with her, so that's home now. So I wonder is my place still home to them as well, or just their dad's place (even though its the same place they called home for 7 years)?

Anyways, after they came here they whipped out their homework to do. It was a math day. For Corwyn, being in the first grade, things are pretty simple. Low numbers, adding and subtracting, counting money and the whole less than (<) greater than (>) and equal to (=) business. Yesterday, what he had to do was counting up money, and figuring out which coins shown on the page were needed to buy the illustrated picture with a price tag on it. Simple stuff, like I said. However, after going over one he was having issues. Two problems shown themselves to me, the first one I didn't fully understand, and that was his wanting to keep confusing quarters as nickels...but only some of the quarters. I'm not sure if we have solidified in his little brain that the bigger "nickel" is actually a quarter and worth 25 cents every single time, while the little nickel is in fact a nickel and worth a measly 5 cents. The other problem I fully understood. Right as the boys were getting started on their homework, another little boy came by wanting to play. Which of course means to little kids, most especially hyperactive little boys such as mine, that the brain has now been reprogrammed to think almost entirely about going outside to play. Math, even that involving money, is not only not that interesting, but hard to comprehend even in the simplest of circumstances. But with a little help focusing on the homework from good ol Dad, he managed to get through his worksheet for the day, and as soon as it was done he was out the door. He didn't bother to put it in his book bag to take home with him so he'd have it to turn into his teacher the next day, it literally floated slowly down onto the end table next to the couch, landing sometime shortly after he was already a good 25 feet outside with his little buddy. I would say I've been there, but I was the type of kid who ran out of school so fast at the end of the day, that not only did any unfinished schoolwork not get taken home, but I had actually arrived home 3 to 4 minutes prior to the bell ringing that signified the end of the school day. I defy any physics teacher or those guys running CERN to figure out the possibility of how I performed this amazing feat.

And then it was on to reviewing one of the older boy's (JOSH) math test. Now Josh is in the 6th grade, and compared to 1st grade, the difficulty level has exponentially increased. No easy A's counting money. No we're talking about long division, fractions, algebraic equations and all that other fun horseshit...most of which will never again be used beyond the halls of Academia. I did a LOT of math growing up, and I passed those classes, and true to form never used them again. Until yesterday, when I looked over Josh's test. He had gotten a 78% on the test, which I was expected to sign and have him return it to the teacher. SO naturally I looked it over, and we went over the mistakes he had made, and figured out what he had done wrong, which basically boils down to he doesn't really care, so he doesn't focus too hard on it, and I believe he already understands that he isn't going to be using this stuff later in life. Part of me is confused, because he is so good at his science class, which is basically word problem math put into action. But whatever, I guess he's going to have to figure that out on his own sooner or later.

So then we go to the extra credit portion of the test, which has 5 or 6 questions of its own. The first section asked questions in relation to a Venn Diagram. He got some questions right, and a couple wrong...of which I couldn't see how he got any of them wrong, until I noticed that what I thought was a right answer was indeed wrong, due to the Venn diagram being in a box, with an extra figure in the corner. Apparently Dad needs to focus as well. So we got that figured out. Then we had to figure out probability of a coin landing in a circle on a square mat, figuring out the area of each. Much to my dismay, they represented PI as a fraction (22/7) instead of the commonly used, and much easier to use number (3.14) we all learned growing up. So we had to figure out this probability with the fractions. It took a bit of figuring out, but we got the right answer. Or rather I figured it out after showing him how to make serious mistakes first. Because I'm a math idiot.

Here's the best way to find your friggin variable!!!:

Becky said...

It's hard to remember some of that shit...but hey sounds like you put forth a lot of effort. I am interested to see if I could solve that problem though.

Math nerd? Why would you say so?

Mookie said...

Becky,

I say this with the love of an older brother, but you aren't merely a math nerd, you're an across the board complete nerd.

You read and studied, and studied and read constantly while growing up, staying indoors mostly as though you were allergic to sunlight and actual physical activity.

I on the other hand, did not study, read what I felt like reading (also known as not the school assigned stuff), and spent my time regularly outside. My grades weren't far below yours.

The only differencce between the end results is I didn't get a chance to marry your NASA engineer husband before you did! LMAO...shame too, I think I prefer the Florida climate over this stuff up here in Iowa... its cold and snowing...AGAIN!

Becky said...

I AM allergic to sunshine and physical activity ;)

And while I was more motivated in school than you, I married a sugar daddy and live in a warm climate.

I win.