2+2=4; Or, How I drove my math teachers nuts.

2+2=4 seems like such a simple premise. But for me it never has been . First of all, I do accept the principles of math. However it really ticks me off that the instruction of theses principles are presented in such a narrow minded and limiting way.

We are taught these principles of logic, forced to memorize what they are but given no direction regarding how these can be applied in real life. The fact that theses principles go beyond calculators and spread sheets, counting money, paying bills, figuring dimensions or whatever..is NEVER introduced. Or at least they were not for me. And, I'd say that sentiment is common as my feelings were reinforced each time I was in a math class and heard the echoes of "Why do I have to learn this? I'm never going to use it!"

Have you heard that before too?

First let me point out the principles of math ARE important and valuable. Otherwise, the universe would have ditched the premise itself a long time ago. But, for some reason, people have a hard time taking the achetype symbols of logic and applying them also to emotion and everyday life interactions. But, I'm here to tell you that they do apply. And I think I may be able to give you at least one example (although simple in premise) which will make what I'm trying to say a little more clear. And I'm not talking world problems here. I'll never find a point in those.

First Grade Math

Teacher: Can you tell us what 2+2 equals?

Me: No

Teacher: Why not? This should be simple.

Me: Yes, it should be but I don't have enough information. 2 and 2 of what?

Teacher: Ok, lets say you have 2 apples and Susie gives you two more. How many would you have?

Me: Zero

Teacher: No, you would have four.

Me: No, I wouldn't because I don't like apples. I don't like them, so if I had two to begin with I would probably give them away. And, when Susie gave me 2 more I would give hers away too. So, in the end, I would have zero.

Teacher: Ok, what if we used something you like as an example.

Me: I like bananas.

Teacher: Ok. Lets say you have 2 bananas and Susie gives you 2 more. Then how many do you have?

Me: I don't know.


Teacher: You would have FOUR! Everytime! You would have FOUR!

Me: No I wouldn't. I could, but that isn't necessarily always the case.

Teacher: How..is..THAT?!

Me: Well, first of all, who IS this Susie persona dn why is she continually giving me fruit if I don't know her? I'd be pretty skeptical of that.

Teacher: Let say its not Susie. Lets say its somebody you know. (You know she couldn't tell a group of first graders it was ok to take fruit from strangers no matter how hard she tried)

Me. *thinks about it* Well, I'd probably STILL wonder why everone was so focused on bananas at the same time and had so many that they were running around giving them away. WHY in the world would I even NEED two more bananas if I already had two? I can't eat that many. I might eat one, but not two and definitely not four. That makes no sense.

Teacher: *sighs* Ok. Lets say you went to the store and bought two bananas to make banana pudding. But two is not enough. So, your mom has 2 more. She gives them to you. Then what do you end up with.

Me: ONE! One killer bowl of banana pudding!

Teacher: You are being difficult.

Me: No, I'm not. I'm not even pointing out the fact that I can't go to the store by myself and I can't buy them to begin with because I use my allowance to mostly buy gum and Laffy Taffy at the store. So, my mom would have to drive me and buy them to beigin with. AND given the fact I don't know HOW to make banana pudding and she would be teaching me, she would KNOW how many we needed before we went.

Teacher: Ok, she would. Lets start over. So your Mom has two bananas at home. She wants to make banana pudding with you and knows you need two more. So, she goes to the store and buys them and brings them home. How many does she have when she gets back?

Me: Are they brown bananas or green bananas?

Teacher: brown

Josie: The ones at home too?

Teacher: Yes!

Me: Good! because I like to eat the green ones and I'd probably do that while she was at the store.

Teacher: Well, we are going to assume in this situation, that all the bananas are the same. 2 identical brown bananas at home and 2 identical brown bananas at home.

Me: WOW!! I don't know that I've SEEN 4 identical anythings before! I've never experienced that! WOW! That would mean they were all four the same size and color and everything. And they would have to be from separate bunches even and that makes it MORE cool! I'm not sure if I'd want to even make pudding out of such a phenomenon! So, with that , I would have to say it would depend on a lot things. How bad I wanted to make pudding; How long I was fascinated by 4 identical bananas and what day of the week it is, because they have banana pudding here on Fridays. So, I wouldn't even want pudding shortly after or before. So..I still don't know.

Teacher: We assume that all theses factors are given.

Me: WEll..my daddy says assuming makes an ass out of you and me. So, I don't do it. Until you bring me 4 identical bananas so I can expereience them and find out for myself what thats like you are just going  to have to keep "ass-youing" and leave ME out of it!

She didn't want to talk to mae anymore about it after that. But, she figured the principal would, I guess, because that's where she sent me.

Now, let me boil all that down for you. In logic and on paper 2+2 always =4. But, we are human. We don't live completely in logic and on paper. The variables involved are rarely, if ever identical and the circumstances in which we encounter them are always dynamic. In order to really make use of the principles of math, that has to be undood before we are going to be able to apply them in real life outside of a mundane accounting function.

Libra is predisposed to attempt that. The archetype of Libra is the scales of balance. But, as a SUPER Libra, I can tell you I'm not naturally balanced so that premise never really made sense to me. BUT when I correlated the fact that the archetype of the scales is supiciously similiar to the mathematical addition (+) symbol, it began to make more sense.

Libra strives for balance as a goal but the qualifier is "IN RELATIONSHIP TO." What happens when you mix two variables of the the same or different type is dynamic.

It isn't as simple as 2 things coming together with 2 things to provide a simple matter of 4 things.

This group of two things has a nature and dynamic all it's own as a stand alone identity as well as that group of two over there. Put those two groups of two together and those individual group dynamics change. They discuss what they are trying to accomplish, choose a new leader, debate and formulate a plan and the types of personalities involved with the group will influence how easy or hard or if the group can survive. The individuals affect the whole and the whole affects the individuals. BECAUSE the individual is different in realtionship to a group. When acting alone, there is just you and the goal. It is YOU in relationship to the goal. So, you can base your decisions on that alone. BUT, when YOU are with THEM you can't just call all the shots. There is a little thing called cooperation. In order for something to be cooperative, the importance on the goal (although the individual reasons for the importance my be different) should be close to the same level. EVERYONE has to agree what you are working toward, not just you. THEN, if you add in circumstances and purpose of the union you will see that the outcome is going to be variable and dynamic as well.

I'd also like to point out the fact that astrology is tied to mathematic priciples and probably gives the BEST example of what I was trying to say in my math classes.

If you don't believe me you can take a simple look at both the basic symbols of math and the basic symbols used to reflect astrological aspects.

Simple math symbols include plus, minus, multiply and divide.

Simple astrological aspect symbols inclued conjunct, opposition, trine and sextile, and the square.

Plus in math adds to something much like the conjunction. Two planets are brought together.

Minus or subtraction separates much like an opposition. Two plantes sit separate in polarity but continue to affect one another.

Multiply enhances and expands much like trines and sextiles. 2 planets enahcne and expland eachothers priciples and abilities.

And division cuts away much like the square. One planet cuts away partial influence of the other.

Everyone really knows that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4 off paper. It only makes sense that we pay attention to that fact too if we are truly going to ever gain from the principles of math.

In conclusion, I don't hate math or the men and women in this country who are attempting to help mold our children for the future. But, instead, I truly admire both. What I don't like is the overall tendency to encourage the restriction of the entire application of math and the destruction of individual thinking. That hindrs and limits maths purpose. Lets use it fully, says I.