Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear Mr. Donaldson,

I felt compelled to write and let you know that I have finally found a use for the algebra equations you taught us in ninth grade. I am sure you recall my telling you, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I will ever use algebra.” You will be pleased to know that it is a brisk 10 degrees outside today. You see, I decided to knit a sock. Not just any sock, but one custom-fitted to my foot.

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I first picked out my yarn and needles and then sat down with the instructor to start knitting. Imagine my surprise when she starting writing down an algebraic equation to determine how many stitches I would need to cast on. I shouted, “Get out! That’s algebra!” To which she gave me a startled look as if to say, “Well, yeah, duh” and the other students actually had to shield their eyes from the brightness of the light bulb that had blinked on over my head.

Oh sure, I’ve done mental math to figure things out all my life. I’ve even designed things like buildings and spent several years in drafting class. But I honest to goodness, during all the 27 years since your class, had never made the connection between the equations you made us copy over and over and over on paper to an actual practical purpose. Ever.

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So I am writing to suggest that from now on, you ask your students to knit socks. Just think of how much of a difference it could have made in my life. I might have been a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon.

Okay, maybe not, but you know what I mean.

christinesig

22 comments:

Milah said...

LOL! I'm afraid I'd be a sock knitting class drop-out! I don't do algebra.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

I totally agree with you! I hated algebra- well pretty much ALL math, but have no problem doing "knitting math"! If only they would take all that abstract math stuff and apply it to practical purposes.
kim

Patsy said...

No wonder I can't knit a sock.

Chris Simon said...

I love it! Don't run away screaming, but my degree is in math. A good friend of mine swore that she was awful at math and certainly would never use algebra. But give her the grocery store ads, and within minutes, she could tell you exactly how much any of her shopping list would cost at each store, counting coupons, double coupons, special deals, etc. She nearly fell over when I told her that she was an algebra wiz!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Very true. I wish we'd seen more REAL life story problems.

Wendy said...

You are HILARIOUS Christine!
Thanks for that today.
=-)

melanie said...

Funny...I've knitted dozens and dozens of socks, and don't ever remember using algebra....

Welcome to the club! (Sock knitters!) Be careful...it's addicting. But if the algebra does you in...take heart, there is another way....

Florida Farm Girl said...

My math handicap is exactly why I have such a heck of a time figuring quilting measurements and cutting!!! I can do it, but it sure gives me more gray hairs -- and I'm getting enough of those already!!!!!

carol fun said...

You made me laugh out loud -- I too knit socks and I have to say that I wished I paid closer attention in Sister Mary Gerald's algebra class. If she had just told me that someday when I wanted to quilt and knit and cross stitch that knowing this stuff would be helpful maybe instead of mooning over Nickie D (what a hunk) I'd have listened and gotten a C in her class -- stay warm!

Conni said...

ROFL!!!! Christine, you are too funny! I, too, am allergic to algebra! I break out in hives a even the thought of rendering an equation!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

I've been mathematically challenged forever and despite two years of algebra, don't think I could work an equation if my life depended on it!

The Barn Door said...

That's why I would never learn to knit!! No thanks, not doin algebra. Too old....can't make me!

kristi said...

Math crushed my world in high school! I am struggling with patience in the knitting department and to learn about this......

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Ha!! Very funny, Christine! Great story. :-)

Lori said...

LMAO!!! I've been studying SAT's with my niece and when it came to algebra I was lost! Maybe I need to pick up some knitting needles!!!

Nancy K. said...

Most Excellent post!

Who'd a thunk???

Karen Anne said...

Sherman's Lagoon on math

Lisa Martin said...

LOL!!! Funny!!!

Chai Chai said...

You really should send this to a school - they would appreciate it!

Penny said...

LOL
I totally understand!

Ribbons -n- Rags said...

I just found your blog! How great! Your algebra post is too funny. I will have to tell my 15 year old daughter who constantly wants to know when, in life, she will ever use this stuff. I invite you to visit my blog as I am seeking blog friends. www.ribbonsnrags.blogspot.com. I also just started an inspirational blog at www.heartstrings4him.blogspot.com. Michelle Eastham

~lifedramatic~ said...

I found your blog wandering around the blogosphere looking for canning recipes... I'm not sure exactly how that brought me here, but I'm glad I found you. You're so funny and this post made me absolutely laugh out loud!! I look forward to getting to know you and the animals through your blog! Thanks for doing it!

Sincerely, Charlene


http://lifedramatic.blogspot.com