I Hope You Never Need Algebra

Seen on Facebook: a T-shirt that says

Well, another day has passed and I didn’t use algebra once.

The person who posted it observed, “Still holds true!”

My fingers have been hovering over that comment button…that’s because there’s algebra right on my kitchen whiteboard, algebra that I use almost every day.

Diabetic algebra


Algebra for diabetics and the people who love them. Because sometimes a person just doesn’t want a whole serving of something, and then you have to do some math.

I can’t afford to indulge the thought that algebra is useless and that I haven’t thought about it once since I took the GREs in 1986.

It’s more useful than you think.

I’m not bitter about having to use algebra. I’m grateful that my husband has a better grasp on it than I do, because he took several semesters of calculus, so he helped work out the formula that comes in handy when The Kid wants something other than the labeled serving size of a particular food. I’m grateful that I can remember a little bit of algebra, thanks to my long-suffering Algebra 2 teacher who never gave up on me.

And I wish, very sincerely, that the people who posted that photo of a T-shirt implying that algebra is useless never have a child with diabetes. I hope they never have to use algebra like I have to use algebra.



2 thoughts on “I Hope You Never Need Algebra

  1. Yes, you did.

    X = (the number of hours in a day)
    Y = (the number of times you think you used algebra today)
    C = (the minimum number of times I can guarantee you used algebra today)

    If X = 24, Y = 0 and C = 1, then


    24×0 = 0 + 1 = 1

    1 = (the minimum number of times I can guarantee you used algebra today)

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