Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The real problem

Years before we had children, I was telling my young husband-to-be that in school the only math I liked were the "word problems."
He said those are the only real math problems in text books. That was the real math. The numbers sitting already in equations and formations were the solutions to unstated problems, with only the arithmetical calculations left to be done.

I remember that moment vividly. I was in my late 20's and hearing for the first time what "mathematics" meant. I had asked my teachers all through school "What is this for?" and "How is this used?" and they rarely had an answer beyond "Just do it," or "It will be on the test."

photo by Sandra Dodd

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