Yesterday I spent most of the day getting our checkbook up-to-date. My last entry was 09 November 2008. That is three bank statements. I have been checking our account online to make sure everything looked okay. Amazingly I didn't have too much problems balancing the checkbook. The big problem was I couldn't find a couple of debit card receipts. There were also a couple of changes in our regular deposits that I wasn't aware of... or probably was aware and forgot.
The past few months more checks were written. Most of the time we don't write checks. Bills are paid through electronic bill pay. The necessities are either paid for with cash or debit card. Sometimes the credit card is used, but not often.
I know there are computer programs for balancing checkbooks. I tried one of those programs one time. I hated it. I prefer a pencil, checkbook register and calculator. Alas, I used to be able to do it without a calculator.
My Daddy was amazing with math. My Daddy didn't have much schooling. He was a farmer for the first part of his life. By time I came along he was going to school to become an electrician. He went to school and worked at a drive-in theater to support his family (four children). He retained his math skills all his life.
I wish that I had inherited his skills with math. I barely passed algebra. Then geometry! I could never figure it out. I could come up with the right answer to a geometry problem, but couldn't arrive at the answer the way I was suppose to!
In seventh grade "New Math" was introduced to me. I decided to look up on the internet to see why it was called "New Math". This is part of what The Straight Dope had to say:
"In the fifteenth century, when German parents wanted their kids to learn addition and subtraction, they sent them to local universities. To get them to learn multiplication and division, however, they needed to send their kids to Italy for graduate school. The new math that arrived in Europe soon after, which transformed CCLXIV x MDCCCIV into a problem that we can teach to sixth graders, was truly revolutionary. The new math of the sixties was, well, like many other movements of the sixties, disruptive, despised, and moderately beneficial, and is now still around, but incognito.
After Sputnik was launched, Americans felt the schools were in crisis. The National Science Foundation (NSF), created in 1950 to promote basic scientific research, was expanded in 1957 and began to examine and promote change in secondary school education in math, biology, chemistry, and social sciences. The changes in the curricula and texts had a filter-down effect on the primary schools as well. The main thrust of these changes was a switch from teacher "telling" and student recitation to "inquiry" and "discovery," with the hope that students would be more likely to retain information they found out themselves than what was just told to them in lecture form and memorized. In the hard sciences, and to a lesser extent the social sciences, this was described as "hands-on learning." It's a teaching technique still held in high regard by educators and parents today."
My seventh grade teacher, Mr. Austin, he made "New" math very interesting. He tried to teach us to do some math with Chinese-Japanese number characters. If we did well with our math he would read us stories from a book compiled by Alfred Hitchcock. I loved hearing the stories and I loved watching the Alfred Hitchcock show on tv. So I did very well with the "New" math.
I seem to use math every day... sometimes not very well. How much do you use math in a day?
Still more astonishing is that world of rigorous fantasy we call mathematics. ~Gregory Bateson
If I'm losing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga. ~T. Guillemets