An old Italian lived alone. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here, my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried.
At 4 am the next morning, CID agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $ 2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters , but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:
1. Teaching Math In 1950s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?
2. Teaching Math In 1960s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Math In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
4. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Math In 1990s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok. )
6. Teaching Math In 2009
Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
A primary president, a high councilman, and a bishop sat on the front row of a airplane flight that, unfortunately, was hijacked. When the hijackers’ demands were refused, they threatened to shoot some passengers, starting with the first row.
The primary president promptly asked for one last wish. She wanted to sing her favorite primary song. The hijacker said that would be fine, then asked the high councilman and bishop if they also had a last wish. The high councilman requested that after the song he be allowed to stand and give the talk he had prepared to give in sacrament meeting that next Sunday.
The hijacker agreed, then turned to the bishop. The bishop motioned for the hijacker to come closer and whispered in his ear, “Please shoot me after the song.”