The new math?

I am not sure exactly when it happened, but I have officially shifted from those who make fun of the "In MY day … " folks to officially becoming one.

I have a degree in physics. I used to do advanced calculus in my head. Granted I could not add and subtract, but I could calculate the trajectory of the beer can being tossed my way to a nicety, ensuring the least foamage upon opening. I could understand the chit-chat of random nuclear physicists.

If you are not quite getting what I am trying to say, I have a fairly good understanding of things mathematical.


Now my niece has moved closer to me, allowing me to actually see her more than once a year. She is now in third grade. I have been visiting her for the last few days (helping paint her room among other things). I figured It would be cool for good ole Unkie Steve to help her with her homework if she needed it. Some quality uncle/niece time.

She had some math homework. She was a little confused by the first question. So Unkie Steve puts on his superhero cape and flies in.

Takes a look at the question. Scratches his head. Looks at the question again. Turns the paper upside down to see if he is reading it wrong.

Nope. That’s not it.

He then goes to his sister, the PhD. Expert in many things, mostly defined by being very NON mathematical. And asks: "What exactly does this mean?"

Apparently the New Math that had our parents so confused is now the New New Math. Or maybe we are at the New New New Math by now. I wonder when we will change things so much that we will be back to where we started again?