Friday, December 23, 2011

math, oh how you have changed.

I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. 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 1960s:

1. Teaching Math In 1960s (when I was in school)

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

2. Teaching Math In 1970s

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?

3. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit ? Yes or No

4. Teaching Math In 1990s

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.

5. Teaching Math In 2000s

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 of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok).

6. Teaching Math In 2010
Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

ANSWER: His profit was $375,000 because his logging business is just a front for his pot farm.


  1. Sadly accurate. It's amazing, the college grads I work with, and make as much or more money as I do, that can't read a tape measure or make sense of wrench sizes...

  2. hey now, I am a college graduate... and I can definitely say that I can read a tape measure..... and I am real good at trying ALL the wrenches until I find the right one. lol! But then my degree is in biology.... and we do -wing- things a lot! :) have a great day!

  3. Hi Kellie,

    Consider this: Perhaps her frustration was not the simple math, but that she didn't know how to re-enter the information into the cash register. You pulled the rug out from under her. If you had handed her that 8 cents with the bills, she probably wouldn't have freaked out.


  4. it was not me, it is an email I am passing on. But I do love to give cashiers a hard time, lol! especially if they are new. But usually it is the register that messes 7 out of 10 times it will.


anyone can now comment but I will still monitor them so that the site does not get a bunch of spam on it.