I too was/am mathematically challenged by the four basic operations of so-called Simple Arithmetic. I can just about manage to balance a checkbook. To this day I don’t knowhow to solve the problem of cars starting at different timesand speeds, nor of tanks filling at the top and emptying atthe bottom. I didn’t care, and it was not taught in a way thatengaged any interest. Nor was Plane Geometry. Algebra lost me completely; looking at equations made my head spin,and being told that one of the basic rules was that a negativemultiplied or divided by a negative equalled positive struckme as complete insanity. As I understood it, algebra hadbeen invented by some crazy wog, who had been out in thesun too long, and who had nothing better to do than inventintellectual games for which I had no interest or aptitude…If math CAN be made interesting, it certainly WASN’T. Iknow just where Calvin is coming from.
This was many years ago. From what I hear of New Math,[via Tom Lehrer], I’m glad I missed it. Shudder to think howtraumatic that would have been. Old Math is confusingenough!