Wednesday, August 05, 2009

20 Ways I Use Math

First day of school. Cindy returns from her trip. And Liam surprises me by saying, "Daddy, YOU have homework!" with a chesire grin stretched across his face. Seems like he enjoys putting me to work!

So I thought I'd share the outcome of my assignment:

Twenty Ways I Use Math Each Day
by Jon McDougal
  1. In the morning, to quickly figure out how many more minutes I can stay in bed before affecting my chances to be at work on time.
  2. On the way to work, to divide my miles per gallon into the cost of a gallon of gas so I know how much I pay per mile. Then multiply that cost by the number of miles I drive to work, so I know how much I spend just to go to work.
  3. On the way to work, to guestimate out how long it may take me to get there on time, based on the traffic density on HW90.
  4. If I’m possibly running late, I have to calculate how much faster I have to drive in order to make it to work on time.
  5. If I’m possibly going to be early, I estimate how many extra minutes I can chill in the car while listening to old 1980s heavy metal music.
  6. At lunch, I subtract the cost of the meal from the amount I’m paying to sure I don’t get ripped off.
  7. At lunch, to multiply the cost of the meal times 15% so I know how much to tip. That is, if the service is good! If the service is bad, I have to use my math skills to get the value of a 10% tip.
  8. At lunch, to figure out what portion of my recommended daily caloric intake is being used by all the fatty, fried foods I’m eating. (Have to save some calories for dinner!)
  9. At lunch, to figure out how many spoonfuls of sugar are in the drinks or cookies I really want to have, but don’t end up getting them because they contain enough sugar to feed an entire class of fourth graders.
  10. After lunch, dividing the cost of the meal into my hourly pay to determine how much of my day has just gone into my belly.
  11. During work, to multiple the numbers of big computers I have to upgrade by the time it takes to do the upgrade and get a sum of the total time I have to spend on that one thing.
  12. During work, if a big computer blows up, I have to figure out if it costs less to replace it or fix it. So I multiply the cost of having no computers for an hour by the number of hours to fix it versus the cost and time it takes to replace it. Once I know which costs less, I know which way to go.
  13. During work, if I have to make a choice of doing something very disruptive during the day or doing it late at night when I should be sleeping, I multiply the number of people affected at the time by the amount of yelling each person is going to do. If the amount of yelling is less than amount of time I have to spend working on the issue after-hours, I do it during the day. If too many people are going to yell too loudly, I do it at night.
  14. After work, when deciding on asking Mommy to cook or just buying some food, if the amount of drama I am going to receive by her cooking exceeds the cost of me buying something, I buy it. If she is in a good mood, though, don’t buy.
  15. After work, add up the time each kid needs to spend getting ready for bed and then making sure they start soon enough to double that amount of time and still get to bed when they are supposed to be in bed. If they are early, that is a bonus!
  16. After work, add up the number of times I have to ask kids to get ready for bed without yelling. Once the number has reached three, the yelling must begin.
  17. After work, use simple math to add the amount of time it usually takes each child to fall asleep to the current hour so that I know when to go and turn off the lights, TVs, and video games.
  18. On the weekend, figure out which activities result in the most happiness for the least amount of money. Movies? Bowling? Renting something? Always get a maximum return on my investment.
  19. On the weekend, determine the amount of time I have to spend working on projects before Mommy lets me do something fun.
  20. On the weekend, subtract the age of the children from 18 so that I remember that I only have a few more years to enjoy their company and affections before they run off to college and start calling me for money.
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