OK, I know I'm not just getting old, but am positively in that condition when I say that the new way that kids learn math stinks. My son had a problem set tonight that involved simultaneous equation word problems. Apparently what they teach them to do now is to set up the constants in a two- or three-ply matrix on their little graphing calculators, and then solve by taking the inverse of the matrix and multiplying. He did it all as per order, but kept getting the wrong answer and came down to the old man to ask what he was doing wrong. I didn't have a clue about how to program the thing on the calculator, but even though the last math course I took was 35 years ago, I know perfectly well how to do simultaneous equations, so I got the right answer . . . and we worked backwards from the answer to what the calculator matrix should have looked like. See why the method sucks? The problem is that the whole thing becomes a matter of pushing buttons without really engaging the old brain, and when you have a brain fart you just don't have the brain in gear so you can't figure out what's going wrong.<br><br>____________________________________________________<br>Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,<br>But to be young was very heaven!
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