Monday, October 6, 2008

Algebra for Dummies

I’m the first to admit that I’m not always the sharpest crayon in the box.

But I’m not stupid, either….at least, I don’t think I am. So, exactly how many times do I have to attend middle school before I’m officially DONE?

I’m guessing it’s in direct correlation to how many offspring you’ve produced…which should mean I’m on my final go-around. Unless he flunks middle school…in which case, just shoot me now.

Connor’s in 6th grade honors math…which is impressive, except we all know he did not get this from yours truly. And it does him absolutely no good if he’s struggling with his homework, which is where you would have found us this afternoon.



I brought my laptop out of its cozy niche and demanded that Google explain in a most satisfactory way the technical nuances of how to solve why “4r + 1 = 22”.

Or, more specifically, what “r” has to do with it…or, as Tina Turner would say, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”


I tried googling “Algebra For Dummies”. No help.

I tried googling “Algebra homework double equations.” Nothing I could relate to.

Finally, I tried googling “4R + 1 = 22”.

The second hit I got was “Plate P2 Chiastozygaceae: Zeugrhabdotus.”

I am not kidding about this. This is scary stuff.

My dear friend Jackie called me whilst I was in the trenches of Algebra Hell….I recognized her number on the caller ID and instead of “Hello?” I answered/whined with “Do you know algebra?”

She responded with “I’m hanging up.”

I said “Noooo! You have to TRY!”

She said “Well…maybe I remember some. What’s the problem?”

I said “4r + 1 = 22”.

She said “I’m never having kids if I have to do this. I’m hanging up now.”

CLICK.

It is in this spirit that I am sending Connor’s teacher an email this evening. It will say:

Dear Connor’s Math Teacher,

I am by no means trying to tell you how to do your job. Heaven knows, you are majorly underpaid and overworked every single day and I should thank my lucky stars that you even show up 180 days a year.

That said, I think you should be aware that we have a slight problem over here. See, you’d told us parents at the open-house-meet-and-greet that the average homework should take “no more than, say…15-20 minutes, tops…" to complete.

I have to respond (and I say this with only the utmost respect) “No freakin’ way….are you freakin’ kidding me?!”

No disrespect intended. (Please do not punish my kid…)

I’m sorry, but I am having a serious problem with this assignment. The last time that an “r” crossed my path was at “Toys R Us” during a yo-yo buying incident and the “r” gave me no trouble whatsoever.

Now, I’m in algebra hell.

And, no matter how many times “Dr. Math” explained how to reduce/reuse/reorganize this number, or that letter…it’s still Japanese to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with Japanese, but geez…are you freakin’ kidding me?

After 2 hours and 10 minutes, we’re throwing in the towel.

You can keep your freakin’ “r”. And your “x” and “y” too, for that matter.

It’s all Japanese to me.

jh said...

Holy doo-doo, please tell me you actually sent this to the teacher!?!

Anonymous said...

I never thought it was right to have the alphabet involved in math problems. Not right at all.

Kathryn said...

Yup, fellow readers...I sent a very close facsimile of that email. Her response? "So sorry you struggled...next time, quit after 20 and email me then. We'll work it out in class." What a doll...next time, our Algebra-Hell time will at least be shorter.
- And, I'm with you, anonymous...letters have no freakin' place in math.
PULEEZE...

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