Sunday, January 18, 2015

Textbook Follies

For some inexplicable reason, when I decided to go back to University, I also decided to take what I thought would be the most challenging course in my program first. It's only going to be challenging because in high school I took the absolute bare minimum of math courses before I ran screaming for the hills. This leaves me with some gaps in knowledge, like algebra. No big deal, right? Who needs algebra anyway?

My first course is Introductory Statistics. Naturally, that's one that involves a great deal of... ALGEBRA. Om nom nom. Those words are tasty! Was taking it first to get it out of the way a brilliant idea, or a profoundly stupid one? Only time will tell! I'm using my virtually non-existent spare time to catch up with some courses through the Khan Academy

So there I was, reading my textbook, when I had a WTF moment. It was describing how to use a protractor to determine the sizes of the pie pieces in a pie chart. But it went even further:

Text book snapshot
These COM-PU-TERS are amazing!
As I was reading the first paragraph, I was asking myself if they were fucking kidding me. Do they seriously think that anyone in this day and age would actually draw a pie chart by hand? Then I got to the next paragraph that helpfully pointed out that "many computers are programmed so that, once the data have been entered, a simple command will produce a pie chart." 

These newfangled computer thingies can do it all, my friends! I don't know about you, but I totally read that in a Mitch McConnell-esque turtle voice. One where every syl-la-ble of COM-PU-TER was enunciated very slowly and deliberately. Then I realized I was going to be graded on my ability to actually do this shit and not my epic snarking talents, and promptly went back to reading. But seriously!