Monday, June 27, 2011

Secondary Skills and Opportunities

Sometimes I wonder how things would be if we didn't need the secondary skills to go with certain things or how the world would be if everyone had the same opportunities.

Consider this: Something within Sam would make him the best violin player ever to walk the earth.

Unfortunately, Sam has grown up in the slums of Chad and never even hears a violin, much less gets the chance to practice or own one. OR perhaps Sam has all the skills and brains to be a great violinist, but he has stage fright or he loses a hand in an accident or some other issue that keeps him from actually showing this talent to the world.

Then I wonder how that plays out in my classroom. Bad test takers? Less-than-ideal backgrounds? Other handicaps physical or mental that might keep a kid from doing her best?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheap Gas

How far is it worth driving for "cheap gas?"

Let's say I have a gas station near me (or on my route or whatever), but that I know another gas station elsewhere is selling gas for ten cents less. Is it worth it for me to go out of the way to buy it cheaper?

When I fill up, I usually get about 12 gallons. So, the trip must be worth $1.20 for me to make it. Since gas is about $3.60 right now, I am saving about 1/3 of a gallon of gas to get to this other station.

My car gets about 27 miles to the gallon, so to be worth the 1/3 of a gallon, it must be less than 9 miles (round trip) for me to go out of the way to get it and come back.

This seems like a decent open-ended question for students to fill in with their own numbers for their cars.