Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Oh My!

Karley Newton

Do you think mailmen use the Pythagorean theorem everyday? Do Lawyers need to remember how to graph conics on a plane? Would you bet an English Professor can tell you the rules for factoring (x+1)(x-1)? I  sure wouldn’t. So, if most people in their careers today don’t need to learn these insanely complicated math concepts, why should we?

I understand that math is a necessary tool in life, and basic arithmetic is needed for everyday challenges, but when are calculus concepts going to come in handy? Although Franklin High only requires that Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 be taken before graduation, they do mandate four solid years of High School math. So, for many students who took Algebra 1 in eighth grade, they are left spending their Junior and Senior years in Pre- Calculus, and Calculus.

Unless you are planning to go into a career involving heavy amounts of math, the concepts covered in both courses are going to be of little help to you in the real world. High School is supposed to prepare us for college or a career, depending on whatever path you choose. However, I don’t understand why we have to waste hours on ideas that will never help us, and spend time on homework that will be useless in two or three years time.

English, history, and science all have relevance in the real world, and I understand why we have to learn specific things in those topics. However, I just can’t comprehend why I’m spending hours a night memorizing mathematical formulas, only to forget them the day I graduate.

I believe that after we finish the required math classes we have to take for graduation, we should be able to decide whether or not we want to continue with four years of math courses. As long as we have the basics under our belts, and passed the required courses, why should we waste more time graphing functions, and analyzing trigonometry unless we want to? How will an understanding of absolute value inequalities help an Art- History major in college?