So you never use algebra in your life, huh? You’ve never in the course of your life’s journey, paused and reflected on how old you are, and then ruminated on just exactly how much time you still have left?
For me it would go like this: I’m 65 and my pops lived until he was 74. If I followed that course, I’d have (x) number of years left, or nine. If I made it until eighty, I’d have (x) number of years left, or fifteen. Algebra can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it.
Take your generic, serious beer drinker, who likes to keep a case of 24 cans of his favorite light beer on hand, just in case, so every time he heads up to the corner liquor store, he takes stock of what he still has. Down to only one six-pack? Guess that means you need (x) number of six-packs in order to total four. Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Sure glad I paid attention in school.
Algebra in action, hooking a beer-drinking brother up with the answer.
You’re heading from The ‘Ville to Ukiah to dine at In-N-Out, and you want to get there just as it opens. You allow (x) number of minutes for the drive, depending on how fast you drive, and you allow (y) number of minutes for the five-or more-times that you will have to stop for road construction.
See, now your basic life algebra is getting more complex. We have (X) + (5y), and you didn’t even know it. Say you have to stop three times, and you cruise through twice. Shall we assign (z) value to the…
OK. Fine. Enough of life’s complexities on The 101. Besides, I do not want to have to start accounting for the possible 45-minute delays, foisted upon an unwary public, as Cal-Trans continues to hold travelers as hostages.
I cannot fathom how that is legal, to block both lanes, instead of having one-way traffic going at all times. It is highway kidnappery, nothing more and nothing less.
[Editor’s note: Ahem.]
Back to your least favorite subject, and one you swore you never used in your daily life, so what was the point? How about insomnia? You have to get up at the absurdly early hour of 6:00, and you couldn’t get to bed until 11:00. Of course, just because you are desperate to get to sleep quickly, you can’t.
It takes an eternity before you allow curiosity to get the better of you, and you peek at your phone. Noooooooooo! It’s already midnight, and you are now down to-you guessed it!-(x) number of hours before that alarm goes off.
Now the pressure’s on, and it’s not long before you are doing your algebraic calculations in minutes. Isn’t this fun? Seconds? Expand your horizons and recognize that you do use algebra in your life, every day, in numerous ways.
You just don’t have to do it on paper anymore, and turn it into the homework basket.