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Beauty and the Geek?

Drac0's picture

14x - 3 = 7 + 4x
14x - 4x = 7 + 3
10x = 10

Me: "SO what is x?"

SS: "Zero?"

Me: "Don't guess. Think!"

SS: "Urm...."

Me: "How do you isolate the variable?"

SS: "Put all the variables on one side of the equation and the constants on the other."

Me: "Yes! You've done this! Now all you have to do is follow through to the next step."

SS: "What is the next step?"

Me: "Your answer shold be ' x equals...."

SS: "So....I have to divide both sides by 10?"

Me: "Yes!"

SS: "Okay....Urm....I need my calculator."

Me: "For what!?"

SS: "To calculate 10 divided by 10."

Me: "Are you kidding me?!?"

SS: *punches in the numbers* "LOL! Oh yeah! The answer is 1. Heh! I guess I didn't need the calculator."

Me: "No. No you didn't.'

DW: "How's he doing?"

Me: "Look at this math problem...He figured it out all the way to 10x = 10 and he got stuck!"

DW: "Hmmm... x is equal to zero?"

Me: *blink* *blink*

DW: "What?"


askYOURdad's picture



Unfreakingreal's picture

Hmmmm.... Complete blank stare. I have no idea how to do any of that. It terrifies me.

Rhyleighblue's picture


Biggrin Blum 3 :jawdrop:

Okay. I think someone needs to teach the kid HOW to think. Not WHAT to think, mind you. But, rather, HOW to analyze and think critically about different situations.

It could be made to look like a game but this kid will be doomed to be a worker drone all of his life (think jobs like McDonalds) unless he learns how to think.

Drac0's picture

I told SS long ago that math is not a science. It is logic which is a branch of philosophy. You can't just memorize things and hope to pass. You have to understand the concepts behind it. Some concepts SS grasps, but if he doesn't get it, he tries to follow patterns which - in the case of algebra - will only get you so far.

Drac0's picture

Actually this was one of the tests he refused to do in class. Part of SS's penance is to redo them in front of me.

Drac0's picture

Homework never really was a problem. Studying for tests and preparing for major tests/projects IS the problem. If you give SS a math work sheet and tell him to do it, he'll do it. If you tell him, "You have a test next week, you better study and prepare for it", he's totally clueless on what to do.

Mercury's picture

lol. I feel your pain. I have learned the hard way to shut my mouth when it comes to the skids schoolwork, especially math.

When DH and I were first dating we somehow ended up on the subject of how we both blocked our ex's and all of their family on fb. Then, in a teasing way, he said...yeah, but I don't have your ex blocked...I'm gonna go stalk, lol. Well, that led to me looking up his ex and the very first post I saw was a photo of SD's 5th grade math problem. BM was kind of whining about how hard it was and how unfair it was that kids were expected to do math that adults can't even do. wut.

Granted, I know most people don't use geometry every day and probably forget most of what they learned once upon a time but complaining that the state approved curriculum for grade 5 was unfair? Ok.

I went off about how stupid she was, laughing my butt off at her expense. DH just looked at me blankly and said he couldn't do the problem either. Well, I felt like a jackass. I wasn't implying that everyone who couldn't do the problem is stupid... just her for expressing it the way she did. I had to backpedal and I'm pretty sure he still felt a little offended. Sad

I don't make those kind of comments anymore. The skids know what I do for a living and have hinted that maybe I could help them with science and math. I haven't yet. I don't think I want to go down that path.

Drac0's picture

Math always came easy to me. But I swear, the one time I felt like the village idiot is when one of my math professors in university fielded a class of 60 students and challenged them to give him ANY math problem they could think of.

The Question: How many people need to be in a room so that there is a 50% chance that 2 of them share the same day and month of their birthdays?

After thinking on the question for a minute, he answered "28" and proceeded to the blackboard and he PROVED IT!

Unfreakingreal's picture

I am stepping FAR, FAR away from this post, as I am most definitely the village idiot when it comes to Math. Anything more than multiplication, adding, subtracting, dividing and percentages, I am DONE. I get hives just thinking about it. I feel so useless when BS16 brings home Math HW, he is a JR in HS. It seriously might as well be hieroglyphics.

just.his.wife's picture

To quote my DH:

"I was a math GENIUS, then some effing idiot spilled a can of alphabet soup in my mathbook and I haven't understood anything since."

Unfreakingreal's picture

Yup, pretty much. And TBH - in my 44 years of life I have never had the need to use Algebra in real life so I'm not really sure WHY they teach us that anyway.

Drac0's picture

Depends what field you are in:

Imaginary numbers (square root of -1) seemed utterly idiotic to me until I hit electric circuit design theory.

Same is true with Laplace Transforms and differential equations. I didn't see the point of it until I started studying robotics and control systems.

ETA: As I write this, I am trying to figure out this Force VS speed graph I pulled up from a technical document that was handed to me. It WOULD be easy for me to figure out but the author of the document is a German engineer who has a very poor grasp of written English (Is "extravagate" a word?)

Mercury's picture

I could have stopped at calcII and linear algebra for my chem major but went on to differential equations for the fun of it. Blum 3

Drac0's picture

Probability was never my strong suit. Sad

I still have trouble proving the Monty Hall Paradox.

Rags's picture

Classic. Biggrin Good job working with him though. That is what a REAL parent does. I remember hours working with SS on math problems. He battled tooth and nail because he did not like to structure the problem in a classic way. His teacher told them to write it however they wanted so then he could never figure out what he had done.

Finally he realized that the right way makes it easier and works ... every time.