Maths problems

Do you remember those pesky “Problems” that we were given in school to apply mathematical concepts to apparently “real” problems or questions?

I remember trains leaving stations and traveling at different speeds and being asked about how long it would take for a particular train to make its journey to a certain destination. There were infuriating questions about filling baths and men digging holes.

My brain never ever “got” these problems in a way that provided any sort of correct mathematical answer. My brain liked to problem solve by thinking outside the box and coming up with answers that were not relevant to maths.

So if trains were proving maddening in terms of time and distance then my answer would have been “take the bus instead”. Likewise problems filling a bath – take a shower and as for men digging holes – well use a digger.

This photo shows a chap outside my house on Monday perhaps solving a maths problem but with my answer staring him in the face!

We have had fibre optic cable installed underground and hole digging has been a big part of that operation. I watched this chap busily dig for a bit and then the digger was used to make the hole as large as they needed. I suspect caution was required around hitting other underground services which meant manual labour was the best way to carefully check what lay beneath.

Oh and while I failed the solving of maths “Problems” my rather creative and lateral thinking brain has held me in good stead to solve many, many a real problem.


2 thoughts on “Maths problems

  1. indiginz

    yes its a ‘modern man’ concept that there is one answer to such ‘problems’ but of course there are at least two answers to absolutely everything (-:


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