Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Sign of the Mental Apocalypse

I went out for lunch today to Chick-Fil-A. The total cost for my chicken nugget combo came to $5.18. I had a pocketful of dimes and pennies, but no nickel. Thus, I gave the girl behind the counter $5.23. She put the money in the drawer with a perplexed look on her face. She commented that she knew I had change coming to me, but she's "really bad in math," in her own words. She actually called someone over to help her!

As a disclaimer, she could have had a learning disability, but I doubt it. Rather, I think that she was just a teen-ager who thought that math--even trivial math--was inherently uncool. I would also venture to guess that, as a young girl, she had one of those Barbie dolls that said, "Math is hard."


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Christina said...

Yep, that happens a lot here, too. I would like to blame it on the government's lack of interest in helping the DC school system, but it happens out in the wealthy suburbs. Probably due to too many things (calculators, computers, etc.) doing the "thinking" for kids these days. I still remember learning how to make change with fake money in 2nd grade.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Brianne said...

I think it likely has more to do with the Chick-Fil-A girl's self-esteem and lack of belief in herself that she can do arithmatic. She might have been afraid of making a mistake and not giving you enough change back, causing an uproar and possibly a loss of her job. I'm sure she felt put on the spot. I'll bet she actually could have done the math, especially if she hadn't felt the pressure of having ten other people waiting in line behind you.

But I do agree that math education in America allows kids to rely on calculators waaaaay more than is healthy.


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