EdTech 537: Guest Blog

A guest blog entry could take the form of any kind of blog entry. So it could be a links entry or discussion question entry or a commentary entry or a list entry or anything really. The key is that it is written by someone other than the blog owner – ideally someone the blog owner solicited because they valued their perspective and wanted to share it with their readers.

Re: Is Algebra Necessary

twitter:  @kyleeannh 

Is Algebra necessary? I have to admit that I’m a little sickened by my own response to this question. If you had posed this same query to age-sixteen-Kylee I would have replied with an adamant “NO.” Since then, my attitude toward algebra hasn’t changed much, except that I have now given up my battle against it and accepted its permanence in my life.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m not what you’d call a “math person.” I scraped by Algebra and the other mandatory math-related subjects in school. I waded through these classes like a horse in mud. Admittedly, I struggled more out of disdain for the subject than actual difficulty. 

Then, when I became a second-semester college freshman, I finally became “free” of Algebra and all its mathematical-subject-siblings. “The end of my career in math” is what my English professors told me (ok they didn’t expressly say this. still.)

Turns out, this freedom thing was not the case. At all.

I spent 90% of my time in college math-free. I majored in Professional Writing & Rhetoric. It was this subject that led me to pursue internships and professional training in Public Relations. Public Relations falls under the corporate category of Marketing. Finally, through connections I gained during this training, I began my career as a Marketing Administrator for a new homebuilder.

Somehow, though I still practice many of the skills I focused most heavily on in college, I also find myself in a sea of math-related (primarily algebraic) tasks. Each day I work with spreadsheets, budget, measure traffic patterns, and calculate missing parts within grand totals.

Algebra found its way into my life, and, though I can’t say I enjoyed learning the subject back-in-the-day, I’m grateful that I did. If my high-school-self had been given the option, I would have given up math all-together and floated through life on big dreams of living in a numberless land of fluffy writing. This land is not real…anywhere (I’ve looked.)

If Algebra had not been a required subject I would be unable to do the job that I love. 

Perhaps, some people grow up to lead Algebra-free lives.

However, I’d venture to argue that for many, escaping Algebra is nearly impossible.

Why?

You posed the question: “is there really a value to what I do (besides paying the bills)?”

My answer to your question is with a new question entirely:

How many careers do not (in some way) involve managing finances or “paying the bills”?

Kylee pic

Kylee Hefty
Marketing Administrator at M/I Homes of Raleigh
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area | Public Relations and Communications
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About kimberlyhefty

Hello. My name is Kimberly Hefty and I live in Sammamish, Washington. For the past 23 years I have taught high school and college level mathematics. 13 years ago I started a private tutoring business. I specialize in working with public high school students who are taking math courses "on-line". I work closely with both the students and the local school district. I typically work with 40-50 students per week. I also have 2 children ages 14 and 23. My daughter just graduated from Elon University in North Carolina. My son plays competitive golf and premiere soccer so most of my weekends are spent at either soccer or golf tournaments. I am excited to be completing the Master's In Educational Technology Program from BSU (M.E.T.) Spring 2015! Through this program I have gained a better understanding of educational technology and it’s applications. I believe that the knowledge that I have gained will be beneficial personally, as well as to my students. With these skills that I have learned in the Educational Technology program, I hope to help myself and my students be successful in future endeavors. The M.E.T. program has allowed me to create an environment for all of us, my students along with myself, to gain skills for education, employment, and existence.
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2 Responses to EdTech 537: Guest Blog

  1. It is great to see math in the real life application from someone that did not care for the subject. Many subjects that we felt are irrelevant at one time, become relevant at another time!

  2. angiekruzich says:

    Kylee: You hit upon so many excellent points. Also, I deeply envy your writing abilities!! You are so awesome at writing!!

    Ironically, here are some similar comments I have heard over the past few weeks.

    “I never liked math, nor was I ever good at it. I avoid it whenever possible!!” – quoted from the salesman selling me new floors in my house. He was also correct. He is still horrible at math as the installer was short FIVE boxes of hardwood. However, his best follow up statement was; “…thank goodness I didn’t choose a job that requires math.” oh dear, I should have checked his work…I didn’t realize I was on duty and needed to do some more grading this summer.

    “I was horrible at school and stopped taking math as soon as possible!!” – quoted from the wood floor installer who found the sale guy’s mistake during day 2 of installation. This guy was actually very good at math and especially spacial reasoning, but still carries such a negative connection to mathematics. He also mentioned he disliked geometry the most…I’m like really, cause the new angles he made for my floors in changing the carpet lines look fabulous!!

    And finally, why is it STILL okay to say I hate math and I don’t do math? Does anyone ever say, I hate english and I don’t do english?

    The good news: I got some free wood floors!!

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