Why Anything After Pre-Algebra Irritates Me

Or, “a solid reason why I was that student in school”. Take your pick.

It’s such a simple conundrum. Why do I have to prove I trust you? This was the statement I presented a teacher with as I was entering eighth grade. For all the years leading up to it, I was told 1+1=2. I memorized it. Learned quickly to spew it out on command. For just over a decade, I had never questioned it. There was no reason to. Society told me that was how the equation works and our agreement was firm.

So all of a sudden, letters start getting in the mix. 23=2x-y. Fine. I like language as well, I’ll give it a turn. Expand my horizons, if you will. These letters start appearing in my triangles and my grip on the pencil may be tightening, but I’m still trusting you. I’m sure we’ll both reach a consensus on the point eventually.

But the theorems made me hit my limit. 

Nope. You are not selling me on the idea that an essay with a few doodles is still qualifying as mathematics. Once again, I did not question why 1+1=2. We agreed on this just a few years ago. I have no reason to question the years of classes, cash my parents paid the system to educate me. Bad drawings I was so proud of as a little kid showing off I knew how to color in just 2 of those 3 apples.

SAS, ASA, etc. are acronyms I don’t need in my life. SSI, maybe. Anything else non-governmental that will not sustain my belief that retirement is a mature part of my vocabulary can kick it to the curb. If I have a question about angles, I’m contacting my friend’s significant other–the architect. I’m not going to choose to cry in a corner because the rest of my mathematical education is based on proving why the first half was as everyone claimed.

If I didn’t ask, I didn’t care. Trust me, my end of the bargain can be trusted.

I was swapping stories from school with a friend a few days ago. We were sharing our most hated moments and this was an instant thought. You see, I ironically adored Algebra. But Geometry and Pre-Calculus just put me in such an annoyed mood. I tutored classmates in both Algebra and Geometry (obviously worked through the pain), but it didn’t change my opinion.

Now, don’t get me wrong–there’s a high need for understanding a number of mathematical theories and operations. There are certain aspects of coding I see various parallels with old courses. However, I often question where it needs to become optional to pursue a high-level, if you aren’t planning to go into a related field.

The Sounding Board Graphic

Ars Technica posted a cool timeline on the modern laptop. It is amazing to take a step back and think about the huge leaps achieved in the last few decades. Their UK website also shared information on the new Raspberry Pi case.

Bunker in a Box is helping military veterans enter the entrepreneur space.


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