Thinking Algebraically


I am always a bit awkward writing about math.  It is a field in which I have grown comfortable with my lack of understanding.

If I had put any effort into going to my high school math classes I would certainly be one of those people that now wants go back and yell at the teacher “Algebra has had no impact on my life!”  However, since I avoided those classes I don’t think the teacher would recognize me.

In our rage, we math haters might have missed the point.  Maybe it’s not that algebra had no impact on my life, maybe it’s that I have missed out on the impact algebra could have had on my life.

If I list all the things I didn’t learn that didn’t change my life, algebra doesn’t even make the top of the list alphabetically.

(Accounting, Acoustic guitar, and Alchemy take those honors.)

Now that I can look back from a safe distance, I have to concede that math is as much or more about developing complex problem solving skills as those lit. classes were, and I have plenty of need to solve complex problems.  (Lord of the Flies has had no impact on my life either.)

It is probably true that I was never going to be an astrophysicist.

But a better understanding of algebra might have gotten me to a faster understanding that two negatives, whether they are numbers, mindsets or attitudes never make a positive.

Math might even have cosmic



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