Death By Algebra by Tari Xalyr

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SUMMARY: The title came from an interview i heard between Andrew Denton and author Tim winton. . .


Other than surfing the highest wave possible or winning the battle with my older sister for the shower every night there is really only one thing that challenges me in my life; year twelve maths, or more specifically: year twelve algebra. It is possible to die of boredom? If it is I'm sure the first person to have done so died in a math class. The teachers think we talk in numbers. They don't understand how hard it is for us to decipher a whole bunch of random digits and letters so they actually mean something. It doesn't work. It is not natural. English was invented for a reason. So why are we forced to go to school and learn opposing subjects. Think about it. The compulsory subjects at this school are English, Society and Environment (SE), Maths and Science. All four contradict at least two of the others. And as if we weren't confused enough already they throw in RE for good measure. Religious Education.

Take for example, Maths and Science. You would think they go hand in hand. Never say that to the teachers that actually teach the subjects! You risk exposing your neck to a chopping block. Sure they both deal with the logical and rational. You're either right or you're wrong. There's no way to debate that 2 + 2 does not = 4. It just does. Always has. Always will and that's that. Yet despite all the links between the two the teacher will always deny it with a passion. They appreciate their subject alone and expect you to see the differences amongst the mine field of words, numbers and funny looking scribbles they tell you actually mean something in the written language.

And the we progress to the more easily debated subjects: English and SE. sure you can debate if this writer was discussing gender problems and society's demand for people to conform. Each line of a book, poem or play can be debated to mean many things, requiring more personal interpretation. Unlike math and science there is very rarely a right and wrong answer. Same goes to SE. it's easy to debate whether or not Hitler killed more or less then 7 million Jews and millions of people died in various wars, because all proof is open to interpretation. The average age of Australians, for example, who served in the World Wars is debatable because most men who fought were not men but boys, who forged their names and lied about their age to serve their country. So evidence is easily tampered with, forcing students to come to their own conclusions.

So if you aren't confused by now, they will chuck in RE to try and trip you over. Now all the things, Maths, Science, SE and English cannot explain about the world and the universe Religious Education will do it for them. For anything humans cannot explain is deemed "divine" or "supernatural" or simply "impossible." So really RE will merely attempt to make the illogical, irrational and impossible happenings in the world understandable, logical, and rational to stop people getting scared. Because it's human condition. We must put names to things we do not understand to make ourselves feel in control and secure in this world.

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