Thursday, 3 January 2008

Having a Degree Does Not Make You Clever

Books, I can do them. Films, not a problem. Music, art, go on, I'll give them a whirl. Maths, not so much. In fact, I am a retard when it comes to maths. I have an O'Level in it, if that counts (ha! I made a maths joke!) for anything, but it seemed to be all about tangents and algebra and pi, and I don't use them at all now. Well, I go off on tangents. And I eat pies. But that's about it.

So anything vaguely maths related, and I go a bit glazed. And parts of me die. That's not me being dramatic, you know, I can hear them clunking out of action. Like Belle's washing machine. I'm not so bad in shops. But you know those conversations you have that start "OK, well I've given you 75 pence, but you already owed me 18 pence, but I bought the ticket for.."? By the time it gets to 75 pence, I have lost the will to live, and it has taken my reason with it.

So imagine how this conversation filled me with delight. For your benefit, I'll even give directors advice, so you can experience the full horror.

Me: Well, that's because you're a lot older than me. You're in a different decade.
Him: Only for 5 more weeks, and then we're in the same decade.
Me: God, I am old. Soon I will be the same age as you.
Him: You'll never be the same age, will you? Not exactly.
Me: Well, in the same year. For some of the year I'm the same age.
Him: True. And the gap between us is getting smaller.
Me: Eh?
Him: Gap's getting smaller. When I was 2, how old were you?
Me: Erm, 18 months old?
Him: So what was the gap as a percentage?
Me: Eh? (Panic sets in)
Him: What was the percentage?
Me: Ooh, er, crikey. Well, if I was 18 months old, and the gap was 6 months, and you were 2, well, it would have been, erm, ooh, god, erm, 25%? (This is a very random guess. I was close to saying pi, or something squared.)
Him: Well, if I'm 40 now, and you'll soon be 40, the gap is still 6 months, but what's the percentage now?
Me: Erm....4? (My brain has died)
Him: 4? How did you get 4?
Me: I guessed. Is it right? No, wait a minute....7! (This is said with some triumph)
Him: 7? 7? How in god's name did you get 7?
Me: Well, it didn't sound as though 4 was the right answer. So I tried 7. (I have decided honesty is the best policy. He will tell me the answer now, and not make me work at this)
Him: Now look. What fraction of 40 years is 6 months?
Me: Erm...(Oh dear god, it didn't work. And now we are doing fractions. Still, they are not so bad) Erm, is it an eightieth?
Him: Right, so if it's an eightieth, what is it as a percentage?
Me: Erm...(I have never done this in maths. Why would you need to convert a fraction into a percentage? If you wanted half of a cake, you wouldn't say "Oh please could I have 50% of that cake?" You would probably say "Oh please can I have all of that cake, and stuff your fractions and percentages". That's what you would say if you felt like I feel, right this minute.) Is it 7? (This is a last ditch gamble)
Him: (clearly exasperated beyond measure at my idiocy) Of course it's not 7...

There then followed an extremely complicated explanation, not only of why the answer was not 7, but of what the answer was. If I could remember it, remember how to work it out, or remember where the half of that cake was, I would tell you.

I tell you what, I should have got out of bed then...


belle said...

'I eat pies' - that line has so made my day! I've spewed my drink all over my keyboard and if I have to buy another, along with the washer, I'll still say it was worth it :o))

Glad you're back. You've been gone too long. Don't do it again x

aims said...

This cracked me up - and I have to totally agree with you! There is no reason whatsoever behind age math. I swear it! Up - down - and right of center..none whatsoever!!

(I've failed age math every single time 'The Man' has brought it up)

Your not alone!!

and I agree with belle - don't be gone so terribly long next time.

the mother of this lot said...

I know people say they laughed out loud, but I really did! Are you my clone or something?

Casdok said...

Lol! Great post!