Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1 + 1 = I'm A Moron

So I was helping Mr. Z with his math homework, this afternoon, and it mostly consisted of converting metric measurements from one size to another, like kilograms to grams or millimeters to centimeters and shit like that. At first I was like, "ah, no fucking problem," but as I was trying to explain it to him, my withered synapses fucking seized up on me and I found myself rapidly spinning down some bottomless numerical vortex, and I began second-guessing every answer and well, frankly, it got pretty ugly pretty quick.

We made it through to the other side with only a few tears (and he was pretty upset, too) and then we closed the book and I let him watch some Spongebob so that any trace amounts of understanding he may have gleaned from our little study session were instantly erased and replaced with "GAAAAHHHHHHH!"

So, the Old Lady gets home around dinner time and I started explaining what an ass-ripper this fucking math homework was, you know, to get the rightful sympathy props, and I even handed her the textbook to show her the devil's handiwork contained within. She looks it over and says, "Well, here's all you need: 'If you're going from a larger measurement to smaller one, you multiply and if you're going from smaller to larger, you divide.' What's the trouble?" I grabbed the book from her in the classic Moe Howard way, adding the requisite, "Lemme see that, you!" and soon realized that if I had only READ THE GODDAMN DIRECTIONS FIRST, the fucking hour long battle that I had put the boy and myself through would have been, maybe, a 20 minute skirmish, and I wouldn't have wasted all that valuable stomach acid that was at that moment bubbling up my ulcer-studded esophagus.

And the kicker? As the Old Lady casually glanced over the answers, she found that four or five of them were TOTALLY WRONG and that I had basically told Mr. Z to do the exact opposite of what he was supposed to do.

Have I mentioned that I'm not that good with the math? What the shit, man?! I really thought I knew what the fuck I was doing, too! That's what makes it worse. It would have been one thing if I were like, "Shit, man, I just don't get this... you're on your own, Mr. Z," but NO, I had FIGURED IT OUT and I was HELPING HIM to FIGURE IT OUT FOR HIMSELF!

So, whereas he was only mildly confused BEFORE he started his homework, now he is TOTALLY fucking confused.

Excellent, my work here is done.

And if any of you care to do any extra credit, here's one of the problems:

On Sunday, Li ran 0.8 km. On Monday, she ran 7,200 m. On which day did Li run farther? Use estimation to explain why your answer makes sense.

(HINT: The fact that "Li" is the 2nd most common surname in China is, apparently, not really relevant.)


Todd S. said...

Li ran further on Monday. .8km is 800m (I think, I'm a product of 80's schooling so I can never be sure of my math-but I can tell you that the geek should always get the hot chick. That much I learned at Shermer High School).

The question really should be, why the hell did Li run nine times as far on Monday?

melpaco said...

Math is not my best subject either. I'm think I'll probably screw up my son too when he hits math age, he'll be 5 on Sunday so I've got some time.

Burbanmom said...

I think the real question here is what was Li running from?

leslie said...

Good thing Li's name wasn't Pi.

choosydad said...

I can deal with the math part of it (I think), but I can't stand when they say things like, "Use estimation to explain why your answer makes sense."

I've already gotten into pissing matches with the teachers over these gray-area questions that we run across in some of my daughter's homework.

Mike said...

I have already told my kids that I am not the one to come to when it involves math. Anything else, no problem...

Beavis said...

I know this comment is really really late, Li, ran further on Tuesday.
0.8km = 800 meters
7,200 m(eters) = 7.2km.

Beavis said...

*stupid head*

Sunday was 0.8, or 800 meters
Monday was 7.2, or 7,200 meters

*Gives self uppercut for getting days wrong.*