# Can the level of math education sink any lower?

*Teaching Math In 1950:*

A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

*Teaching Math In 1960:*

A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

*Teaching Math In 1970:*

A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is $80. Did he make a profit?

*Teaching Math In 1980:*

A logger sold a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment:
Underline the number 20.

*Teaching Math In 1990:*

A logger cut down a beautiful forest, because he is selfish
and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of
animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this
so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this
way of making a living? After answering the question, the
topic for class participation is: How did the birds and
squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There
are no wrong answers.)

*The Result In 2005:*

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The
young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my
change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to
her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while
looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give
me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While
he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there
and cried.

#### Jeffrey J. McGovern

Other "jokes" about mathematics