Uncle Josh was pleased with a mathematical statement last night

By now you have seen this meme, which has a note from an “exhasperated parent” over the complicated way kids are being taught math. We are supposed to applaud this jerkwad behavior because for some reason stupidity is seen has honorable.

There is another one floating around that is a damned good problem, and the thing we’re supposed to applaud is a parents complaint that they don’t get it and there is an “easier way” which is the good old fashioned new math carryover method Uncle Josh learned.

Then, last night, in choir rehearsal, we read through a piece by Orlando Gibbons. Gibbons’ was listed, as is often done in musical scores, with his life span (1583-1625). The bass I was sitting next to said–in this order–“25 plus 10 is 35 plus 7…he was only 42, a very young man.”

Uncle Josh was very, very happy to hear this (not that a young man died at age 42, but the calculation method). This is the mental math many of us learn, once we understand the carryover method and practice with it enough, we get a sense of the numbers and realize, as the first article I linked to points out, subtraction finds the distance between numbers.

I don’t remember ever being taught this add-the-easy-distances method, but I discovered it, and i practiced it, and I use it today in my day job.

So, we’re supposed to be angry that we’re teaching kids to subtract? I think not.


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About Uncle Josh

I am a genre writer from the Great Metropolitan Rain Forest.

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