Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm NOT Smarter Than a 5th Grader Part Two

My son, Alexey, is in 5th grade and the English major (me) gets to help him with homework. Now I truly, truly appreciate the process of learning, I do... but I have to say that long division is the most useless, pointless endeavor known to man. Isn't long division the REASON God invented calculators and accountants?

I mean if I want some sausage, I go to the Publix and pick up a package of Jimmy Dean. You won't see me scootin' around the backyard gutting a pig and grinding my own. See my point?

I guess if my freakin' LIFE depended on me knowing what 2869 divided by 936 is, I could wing it with a pencil, but damn... just hand me a TI-35.

Or more likely just expect a furrowed brow, "What the hell do you need to know that for?" glance!

Whew...I feel better.


  1. Good venting! And amen on every point!


  2. Okay, Sam I agree completely. Calculators are ABSOLUTELY necessary. Particularly for advanced math that uses ratios which cannot be worked out on paper by most college graduates. (this is getting explained)

    Last year, in 9th grade, my Geometry HONORS teacher decided to tell me and my classmates that we were too dependent on calculators. He went so far as to insult our intelligence. All this during a lesson on ratios connected with triangles-- you know, Sine, Cosine, and Tangent? Those ratios only doable by computer?

    And he teaches honors...

    So I commend you on your incredibly patience teaching long division.

  3. Sam. If you think it's hard to help your kids with homework, just wait until you try to help your grandkids. Boy, it's been a very long time since I had to do such difficult math. And I TAUGHT 5th grade!