Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Number Pain

I have always had trouble with math. I took Pre-algebra twice in high school and again during my brief stint in college. I just didn't get it. English, History, Science, lunch? No problem.
Math? Bah!
It possibly didn't help that I found it much more interesting to explore the inner recesses of Tommy Milford's* mouth than to solve for y, but not the point.
I took the kids to the library yesterday and as I scanned the stacks pretending that it was not my toddler singing Elmo's World at the top of his lungs, I found it.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Algebra.

I thought that applied rather aptly to me. Yes. A book written just for me. It even had my name on it (see: idiot).
How hard could it be?

I read the whole first chapter, happily making notes in the notebook I bought just for this. Girl sat next to me and shook her head for I am lame.
I did the chapter problems and checked my answers so certain that I had it all right.

I missed one of the possibly categories in the first question and got number 4 completely wrong. I still don't know what I did wrong on number 4.
I thought maybe I read it wrong but....
When you see this 6+2(5+8) you would add 6+2, 5+8 and then multiply the answers. Right?
Good grief. I can't believe I'm asking the internet to help me with math. And I'm almost 30 (*whimper*).

I took the book outside with Mishka, our overly hyper Husky puppy. As I was walking back into the house I caught my hip on the railing off of our deck. My hip swelled and there is a giant, hideous purple and black bruise. I couldn't even sleep on that side which meant, of course, that that was the only way I wanted to sleep.

As I sniffled and applied ice, I googled my 9th grade Pre-Algebra teacher.

Dear Mr Pocket-Protector,

You lied. Math is painful. Enclosed, please find picture of my very tender hip, injured while studying algebra.

That Girl Who Was Always Attached to
Tommy Milford's Face

*Name has been slightly changed to protect, um... me.


Anonymous said...

You probably don't care anymore but the way to do that problem is add the 5 + 8 multiply it by 2 and then add the 6. It something about the order of operation. I know I am such a nerd. I can never resist a good math problem though:)

Mrs.X said...

Actually I do care as that has been bothering me all. damn. day.
So, thank you!

Joey's mom said...

Hey you, anonymous is correct. In this particular problem your start with the paraenthesis (sp?) first, do whatever is between those lovely half moons. Then that number (13)....is now a multiplication because it's surrounded by the ( ). You always do your multiplication and divison first, before addition or subtraction. So you now multiply the 13 by 2 = 26 and so it should now be just a simple additon of 6+26 which is 32. Gosh I hope I'm right!! It's been years since I've done algebra! LOL