Why do I have those degrees on the wall?

October 5, 2007


Last night was The Swimmy’s parent-teacher conference thing. You know, 15 minutes of, “Here is what [Insert kid name] is working on. We tested his/her reading, and …” blah blah academic blah.

So, she’s fine. A bit chatty, but fine.

One of the things the kids are going to start doing is learning their “math facts” – which means memorizing their addition/subtraction and not using their fingers.

Hey, this ain’t Kindergarten anymore.

I could get all crafty and make some flashcards, but, I’m not That Mom. So off to the Teachers’ Supply store I go.

I need to never go there again.

I was visually bombarded with wall hangings, markers, posters on good behavior, the ever-feared RED pencil of grading death, and many, many books on phonics, reading, logic, numbers, history and OMG Calculus.

Here is something you should never do: Pick up any review workbook on Pre-Calculus to see if you remember anything from high school eventhough you’ve been out of high school for, oh, say, 22 years.

Bad idea. Very, very bad idea.

You know how they say that smell is the most powerful sense we possess? Well, I’m here to tell ya that the moment I started looking at some of those exercises a strong memory-scent of mimeograph ink attacked my nose and brain.

I may have blacked out a bit.

I am so thankful all I have to deal with is 2+2 right now. ‘Cause it may take the next 12 years for me to get back up to speed on Calculus again.

And? For those of you who needed a bonus info-bit today? The other day I remembered a little trick for multiplying 9s.

Get a pen:

You know you’ve multiplied nine correctly if the numbers in the sum add up to nine themselves.

For example: 9 x 7 = 63

6 + 3 = 9

You did it right!

/geek moment.

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3 Responses to “Why do I have those degrees on the wall?”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Hmmm… and there was me thinking I was quite clever because I could still remember the quadratic formula, 15 years after leaving.
    There is another trick with 9s. If you have added up a load of numbers, and they don’t add up to what you thought they should be, check if the difference is divisible by 9. If it is, you have transposed some digits in the list somewhere.

  2. Judy Says:

    LISTEN CAREFULLY OR READ CAREFULLY Absolutely no flash cards. Go get a math software game. You only use flash cards if the answers are on it. Do fact families. You know== 2+3=5 3+2=5 5-2=3 5-3=2
    All of this advice comes from the business center in Bar Harbor, ME We’re going whale watching today. Love you bunches, Judy

  3. steph Says:

    Another 9’s trick:
    Hold up 10 fingers. Multiplying, say, 9×4? Count left to right 4 fingers. Put the 4th down. On the left of the downed finger, you have 3 fingers. On the right you have 6. The answer is 36! If you are multiplying 9×6, you’d put the 6th finger down, and so on…Of course, only works up to 9×10, but still an easy way to figure it out 🙂