Soon, school bells will ring the end of summer vacation, so today, I think Uncle Dave should give students an important pep talk.
I just want to let all of you young people out there know, I’m behind you 100 percent with a few heartfelt words of encouragement: Na Na, Na Na Na, you have to go back to school and Uncle Dave doesn’t.
But seriously, young people, I have some thoughtful back-to-school advice for you in just four words: “You should study your mathematics.”
A recent Associated Press article said the Montgomery County (Alabama) School Board voiced alarm this past week about the increased failure rate on last semester’s final exams in math courses.
Board of Education Member Cal Culus cited a 2018 report that showed 68 percent, almost half of the county’s high school students, failed Algebra 1 finals this past year.
Somehow this doesn’t surprise me in the least. I mean, how can you expect young people to understand mathematics when so many of them can’t even put their clothes on correctly?
I constantly see young people with the bills of their caps pointing backward. Wearing your cap backward is like wearing a hearing aid in your nose. If you take a close look at your cap, you will notice a piece sticking out the front called the bill. The purpose of the bill is to keep the sun off your face, which is located in the front of your head.
I don’t even want to talk about the back-to-school clothing fads such as camo jogger long pants, street fashion hip hop, elastic feet cargo sweat-pants look, whatever that is.
But let’s get back to the problem of low scores in mathematics. Three out of four high school students — nearly 50 percent — go out into the world after graduation without an adequate understanding of mathematics.
We need to think about getting those math scores up. Too many young people are unable to solve even basic math problems, like this, for example: Timmy wants to redo his bathroom in pink wallpaper with mauve trimmings, so he invites Steve to help. If Timmy’s bathroom is 8 feet by 6 feet and has 9-foot ceilings and each sheet of wallpaper is 36-inches wide, how long will it take for Steve to realize that Timmy will not make it as an interior decorator after graduating? ... No, wait. That’s not the right story problem.
Let’s see, here it is: A person walks into a fast food restaurant, orders two cheeseburgers at $4 each, then gives you a $10 bill. How much money should you give back in change? a.) $1, b.) $3, c.) Whatever the computerized cash register says even if it is $1,500, d.) None of the above.
The answer is (c) of course, Uncle Dave wouldn’t steer you wrong. Young people deserve to have the same excellent teaching and great educational foundation in math I had decades ago, during the Woodrow Wilson administration. They must learn the basic mathematical concepts if they ever hope to become a smug, know-it-all, older person such as myself.