|Saxon Algebra: Nightmare on
High School Street
noun: the part of mathematics in which letters and other general symbols are used to represent numbers and quantities in formulae and equations
I’ve discovered the answer to the age-old question asked in every algebra class since math teachers began teaching algebra: “When am I ever gonna use this my life?” Answer: “You will use your vast(ly deficient) algebra knowledge when you move to Ecuador to be a missionary and your 14-year-old takes an online algebra class and needs your (not-so-)amazing algebra skills to pass the class.” Finally, we can all rest knowing there is an answer to that question!
For the past two weeks now, I’ve poured over ratios, variables, equations, polynomials, binomials, quadratics, blah, blah, blah… I wish I could say that it all came back to me very easily. Well, I guess that’s somewhat true. It came back a lot faster than I thought, but it also created a problem. You see, I’m one of those people who can’t let something beat me. In fact, I will keep trying to “win” until I do, or until I’m exhausted. So an algebra assignment that should take an hour and half takes 4 hours because I will NOT GIVE UP until I figure it out! Add to that problem a 14-year-old who doesn’t understand that “this grade will go on your permanent record!” and you’ve got yourself a quandary of algebra frustration.
So now I’ve got two things to “conquer:” algebra and a 14-year-old’s que-sera-sera attitude. I should have both of them beat before you can rattle off the quadratic equation – yeah right…