June 19, 2009

Maths were never my strong suit

Churning along on the blanket, I bring you version #2 of

Blanket Size Check '09


(Thanks Sam. )

I wondered where I was at today, percentage wise, and so I looked up the final dimensions of this bad-boy.

50 X 60.

Well, I thought. I wonder where I am now?

26 X 32

Wow. I reeled. See that?

26 X 32
50 X 60

26 is more than half of 50, and 32 is more than half of 60, therefore (and I was so giddy with joy about this) I concluded that I was MORE THAN HALFWAY. What great news. I mean, this thing was dragging a little but if I was making this sort of progress then dudes, I wouldn't have to stick with this for long. I mean, more than halfway? That didn't hurt at all! I can do that! I can't even believe I was complaining! (Apparently, when hope is dangled in front of me like that, I lose all restraint in the area of exclamation points. Dreadful.) It was whole moments before I started to apply logic to the thing.

Wait... If the blanket is only the size that is shown above, and that's more than halfway, then the blanket can't be halfway because it won't be 50 X 60. I boggled. 26 really is more than half of 50. 32 is definitely more than half of 60. (I double checked.) I sat there for a good long time trying to get how I'd screwed it up - before I remembered a grade school concept called "AREA" and its relationship to (heaven help me) multiplication. I did the calculation for area.

50" X 60" = 3000"


26" X 32" = 598"

Then I looked up how to get percentage (don't mock me. I'm a writer. I don't need to know it every day.)

598 divided by 3000 = .193333.... X 100 = 19.93 %

That's not halfway. That's only about 20%. Hope was dashed, the urge to use exclamation points vanished... but at least it explains how I can be halfway on a blanket that isn't half it's eventual size.

Freakin' math. I hate it the way I did in grade 9, and it still makes just about as much sense. 32 is definitely more than half of 60.


Edit: Okay. That's seriously the funniest thing ever. I put up a post about how bad my math skills are and then do the math wrong. Man. When I say I'm bad at something I don't screw around.

Turns out that 26 X 32 = 832, which means I'm 832, which means I'm 27.7% done, which is a far better number.

Now I understand exactly what was happening that day that my grade 7 math teacher flipped right out on me when I was attempting to explain my approach to division.

Posted by Stephanie at June 19, 2009 4:18 PM