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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Math and Blasphemy - true, yet pointless story

So my boy is starting to learn his times tables.

I have a bit of a hard time helping him with math because the methods he's being taught to solve his math problems differ from how I was taught to solve them. I can show him how I get to the answer but I have a hard time showing him how he's supposed to get to the answer the common core way. We get through it, but sometimes it takes a bit longer than other times.

I remember my first introduction to times tables.

 I was in the 3rd grade. My teacher drew a grid on the chalkboard and started telling a story about how Lot and his wife were looking to build a house and they needed to figure out how many bricks they needed. I, of course, got my Bible out during math class (remember, I went to a parochial school) and searched for the story of Lot and his wife building a house. I couldn't find it. I searched and searched. Once his wife turned into a pillar of salt, I figured I'd gone a chapter or two too far. I would go back to the beginning of Genesis 11 (where Lot and his wife make their first appearance) and start my search again.

 When I couldn't find any reference to L and his wife building a house and not being able to figure out their brick needs I raised my hand. I questioned the teacher about her story. She said it wasn't actually in the Bible. She was making it up to illustrate how to do times tables.

I was so mad at her. I scolded her for being a blasphemer in front of the class.

Lot and his wife and their housing problems never came up again.

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