Here’s one for you courtesy of Coxford and Payne, HBJ Algebra, 1983, pg.137, Review Question No. 15:

Maria is now 3 years younger than her sister, Ann. Four years ago Maria’s age was one-half Ann’s age. How old is each girl now?

These types of problems have been the cause of me quitting mathematics in the past, many, many times over. Like, since junior high. But I decided I’m gonna figure these out because I can’t live in a world where these types of problems make me cross the street to avoid them. So I picked up this little chapter at 6:45 a.m., it is now 5:45 p.m., 11 hours later and I finished all 18 word problems in the chapter successfully, then this review problem made me go dumb.

But I am pleased to announce to all word problems everywhere, I did it. I figured this little nugget out! No more crossing the street to avoid age problems, or coin problems, or word problems at all. Heck no! I’m gonna face them!

My oh my, mathematics, what have you done to me?

No, seriously though, I spent 11 hours today in a single chapter and it feels good to grasp every question. My brain hurts but I’m happy I didn’t give up. Good stuff.

With Love
Ruth Utnage