We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Last week I purchased a salad at McDonalds for $3.58. The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.
Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:
Teaching Math In 1950
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?
Teaching Math In 1960
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
Teaching Math In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
Teaching Math In 1980 A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
Teaching Math In 1990 A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)
Teaching Math In 2005 Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?
I seriously ran into this problem in Thomasville, North Carolina about 10-years ago. I bought something that, with tax, cost $1.27. I dug in my pocket, counted out $1.27 in change and handed it to the cashier.
She stared at the handful of coins. I finally realized that she had no idea how to count them when she asked how much I had given her. I think if I had told her it was $22, she would have entered that into the register.
At another store at a later time the register messed up and the cashier was trying to figure out what to do. I told her that she owed me a nickel back. She asked, "What's a nickel?" I told her five-cents, and she said, "Oh."