Friday, September 19, 2014

Are Algebra Woes Hereditary?

When my younger daughter had trouble with algebra in junior high, I told her, I’d had trouble with algebra in junior high, too.  But I took it again when I was older and the 2nd time it was easy.  I didn’t know if it was easy because I was older or because I had a better book.

When I decided to try algebra again in my late 20's.  I went to the local book store (yes, a regular bookstore, not the college text book shop) and spent the afternoon looking at all the algebra books in the book store. I finally selected one. It cost $6, which was more than 4 hours wages.  But I had decided to learn algebra. I had enrolled in college algebra and I wanted to pass it this time.

Whatever the cause, my maturity, my new textbook, suddenly algebra made sense.  I was even able to show my teacher new ways to solve problems. 

A few days ago, someone emailed me – about trouble with algebra.  What did I suggest?  Clearly, telling her to wait until her late 20's wasn’t an option.

I’d long since sold my old copy – in well-used condition.  But a few minutes of searching the web, and  I found plenty of people selling old copies, some for a penny plus shipping.  And despite its age, some sellers claim to have copies in very good condition.  I have to wonder if these copies were used.

Yes, this is an advertisement. Yes, I get a commission if you buy from this link.  I’m not sure what the commission on a penny is.  So, I’m not doing this just for the money. If you know somebody who is having trouble with algebra, the book I recommend is Modern Elementary Algebra by B. R. Rich
Modern Elementary Algebra

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