Friday, November 07, 2008

Math is Fun

Grandpa came into the kitchen and sat down across from me as I was doing my math homework. Then with a mischievous glint in his eye he said,

“Do you enjoy math, boy?” Knowing grandpa I just nodded my head suspiciously as I looked up at him.

He just smiled as he said, “Let’s see how well your teacher has taught you. Pick a number, any number.”

I hesitatingly said “43”

“Ok” grandpa said. “That is a good number. Now, let’s have a little math contest. Let’s add up the first 43 odd numbers and see who can add the fastest.”

I began writing all the numbers down on a scrap sheet of paper but noticed that grandpa just sat there watching me. When I had finished writing them down I began adding up the long list. Grandpa taking a scrap sheet of paper, wrote something quickly then watched me add up the first column of numbers then, he said,

“When you are finished adding those numbers up you will find that your answer will be 1849. What was taking you so long to add, boy” he asked with a grin.

I looked at him amazed at what he said because I knew he never got out of the fourth grade in school

His grin just got wider as he said, “Back when I went to school the teachers taught the kids well. Want to try again?”

I nodded and said “27,” this time because I had all the numbers written already.

Grandpa just continued grinning and said, “Ok, start adding”

I started adding as fast as I could while again grandpa did the same as before then just watched me add up the columns only this time he waited until I was half way through the last column before he said, “729.”

Amazed again, I asked, “How did you add so quickly, grandpa?”

Grandpa just chuckled as he said “Do your chores well today and I’ll tell you tonight if you haven’t figured it out yet.”

Later that night, I went to grandpa with a big grin on my face and said, "Grandpa, I know now how you did it."

Grandpa just gave me a knowing grin and responded by saying, "You saw BB-Idaho and asked him, didn't you?"

Embarrassed, I just started grinning and nodded.

"Well, boy, that just shows how smart you are. You couldn't have asked a better man than BB. That's a little trick you can use when one of your high-falutin' classmates starts braggin too much about how smart they are or tells you how dumb you be."


BB-Idaho said...

Grandpa is picking on the youngster again...he probably simply squared 43. :)

The Griper said...

you're nasty, BB. lol I'll publish your response later and give the rest of the visitors a chance at it. lol

BB-Idaho said...

You seem one up on Grandpa, for
the number forty three
is more significant than first glance. Yikes!!

The Griper said...

no wonder grandpa is such a griper he uses the 43 muscles to frown all the time. :)

amazing what mathmaticians will do with numbers. tear them apart, put them back together again in another way.

yet, when used, all mathmatics is nothing but adding and subtracting regardless of the complexity of formulas used. and that can be broken down to nothing but addition only. tis no wonder we need computers to do it for us now days.

dcat said...

I think my face is going to stay this way fore years!!! >:[

Anonymous said...

you have a smart Grandpa.


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