Saturday, April 15, 2006

Math 101

Last week I purchased a burger at BK for $3.58.
After the counter girl took my $4.00, I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. As she stood there holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register with a blank stare, I sensed her discomfort. I tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager instead. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950's ---

Teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1970: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching math in 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think about this way of making a living? Topic for class discussion after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

Teaching math in 2010: Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la produccisn es $80. Cuantes tortillas se puede comprar?


demented baboon said...

Tears. Tears, my friend. Tears came to my eyes as I laughed.

Scott W said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott W said...

Moops, Jerry, moops!

Mary Christine said...



Is that BK story true? How sad.
I see you,
PS: Happy Easter to you and your family.
Hug Mom for me and tell her I see her.

Sober Chick said...

Yah I would have been thrown too if you gave me 4 dollars and 8 cents for the burger too. I would ask myself, "Hmm, I wonder why he did not get any fries . . ."

I think in 2010 we will be speaking Spanglish.

Happy Saturday, thanks for all the laughing you allow me to do!

BigSkymAAck said...

A couple weeks ago I was watching a comedian on T.V. talk about that very thing at an Arby's. Two days later my wife went to an Arby's and it happened to her. What was funny to me at the time was that she had not watched that comedian. As I started reading yours I thought how funny. Then it turned into sadness at how true it is. Soon we will be using Pesos as standard currency so as not to confuse our immigrants.

Mr. H.K. said...

This post is RiCH!

Motorcycle Mike - Sober Biker said...

As the one time winner of a math award, I can't stand it.....

I told my boss a few years back, he was not qualified to work in McDonalds in Metro Denver as he did not speak spanish.

Sad on so many many fronts, but true.

Kenny said...

This is one of the most original posts I've read!!

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