## What do Americans do without decimals?

Ok, it is no surprise that I hate my algebra class. I loathe its very existence. I look at the syllabus and want to drown myself in a huge barrel of beer. The worst part about it, besides the combination of letters and numbers in a mathmatical equation, are the fractions. Come on America! Are we living in the 1800’s without calculators? Can you please step up to the rest of the world and ditch the freakin fractions!

It doesn’t help that the textbook sucks ass either. My discussions in the classroom (online – so it’s all typing) look like a foreign language. Do I care what the sqrt of 80^2 * the sqrt of 160^15 equals? No. Will I ever need to know the volume of a tree? (you heard me correctly). Algebra is not needed in the modern times.

My discussion questions for this week deal with quadratic equations. How do you know if a quadratic equation will have one, two or no solutions? Um… How does this affect my daily life? How am I personally affected by quadratic equations. What’s really funny though, is the thought that is put into why algebra makes sense in real life. Well, I can’t tell you how many times I have wondered to myself (while hiking in the redwoods no less) “i wonder what the volume of that tree is?” It’s ridiculous that this thought would ever enter anyone’s head!

Algebra is dumb.

## Bev said,

February 18, 2009 at 8:28 am

Americans need fractions because we don’t use the metric system.

And yes, that is dumb too.

## Iona said,

February 18, 2009 at 9:35 am

I feel your pain! I get dizzy and lightheaded just seeing the word algebra. Now if you will excuse me, I need to put my head between my legs…

## faith_in_algebra said,

March 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The rest of the world really does have a better appreciation and understanding of numerical literacy than is expressed in your feb. 17 posting. Some people rely on skills with the Algebra of Arithmetic, and if you live in the modern world, so do you. Engineers and technologists of all sorts rely on this.

You gave one specific complaint about “volume of a tree”. Think, LUMBER INDUSTRY; think MATERIAL HANDLING of wood products.

Also, the rest of the world still uses and needs fractions. They are not just for the metric system, and not just because of “English” units. Some items which are counted, measured, or calculated are non-whole.

You yourself may need very very little Mathematics skill yourself, but you rely on people who do have and use Mathematical skills.