Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blonde Word Problems

I realized again after helping my Youngest with her math homework just how much I despise math word problems. It may really be math in general, but I just don’t get the purpose of some of those problems. (I need to apologize to all my coworkers who teach math. Sorry. I like you. Just not your subject). They always sound like such jibberish to me and I honestly can’t come up with one time when I’ve had a real life reason to solve one since learning them in school.

I know there are a few Calvin & Hobbes cartoons by Bill Watterson where Calvin had to solve some of these word problems and I’d try to solve those right along with him. His answers made complete sense to me. But, he’s Calvin and he rocks.

Calvin rocks.
I painted this silly picture over 20 years ago
 when I had a "southwestern theme" going.

It got me to thinking about word problems. I came up with one. Maybe you can help me solve it? Here goes…

Six of my friends and I are each driving from various parts of Maine with the intention of meeting in Portland. We each have 3 to 6 various baked goods in our possession. Half of us have cookies. Half of us have cupcakes. And half of us (insert a ‘wtf’ here if you aren’t blonde) have scones and puff pastries. We are in our cars traveling somewhere between 35 and 65 mph. Some are listening to the radio. Two are listening to iPods or CDs. One is listening to NPR. Four have their windows cracked for the fresh air. Five have sunglasses on and 4 have their visors down.

Who doesn't love baked goods?

Where would we meet? At what time and how many total baked goods would we have?

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking we’d meet at a great place just in time for Happy Hour. We’d all be smiling because of what we were listening to and because it was a sunny day. And there wouldn’t be any baked goods left because we are all sugar-addicted women and because we’d need something in our bellies to soak up the Happy Hour beverages that we’d immediately be partaking in. How’s that for math?



  1. Lauren, I know you are a math wizard! I hope this problem wasn't too confusing for you...But, don't you just love Happy Hour math? (It's easier before Happy Hour too I assume).


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