Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Math Problems Run Amok

Being a writer, I'm not much of a math person. Sure, I can do basic stuff. But, algebra stumped me, and don't even try to talk calculus to me. My eyes will glaze over.

Still, every time I fold socks in my house, and I don't have anything going on so my mind wanders, I think of a math problem. A specific math problem. One from grade school.

I don't remember exactly how old I was, or even the exact wording of the problem. I was probably in third or fourth grade. And the problem went something like this:

The power has gone out at Mike's house and he has to get ready for school. He has no flashlight. He knows he has 10 red socks and 6 blue socks in his dresser drawer. What's the likelihood he will choose two matching socks?
Even as a third or fourth grader, I remember thinking Mike was an idiot. Why would you not fold your socks so they were mated? Then you wouldn't have problems like that if the power went out! Today, 20-odd years later, I think the writers for that textbook needed to get their heads screwed on straight.

Though, I do sometimes wonder if Mike made it to school with matching socks. ;)

How about you? Do you have something from your school days that sticks out in your head, that just won't leave you alone years or even decades later?

Until next time,


K.M. Weiland said...

Urgh. Just mention math to me, and my eyes cross.

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