1. Alicia Sanders
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    Alicia Sanders New Member

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    Online Writing Service

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alicia Sanders, Jul 30, 2013.

    There is a huge problem for students these days: they turn to online services which do their written home assignments. The reason why I call it a problem is because despite some kids being pretty smart, they can’t seem to express their feeling and/or thoughts on the paper. How can this problem be solved? How can we help and what is your attitude (possibly experience) to online writers? Have you ever worked as online writer? Please feel free to share your thoughts and stories!
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Firstly, and not to be a prat, but world hunger is a huge problem. Kids cheating in school is an issue. With that out of the way ;), cheating like this has been going on since the invention of term papers. The only thing that has changed is the technology used to access the cheat. BITD, you looked for a smart kid who was maybe a little bullied and in need of befriending and you paid him for papers. Now you send a Paypal payment to the 'online writer' and indicate if you would like a .pdf, .rtf, or .doc. It's all the same, though.

    The only ones who can take care of this kind of issue are parents. Teachers will be savvy enough to spot this kind of paper coming at them, but it's a hard thing to actually prove, so I doubt many of them will want to tackle such an accusation until the student is at university. At university a professor will gladly say, "Hope you didn't pay too much for the F I just gave you on that paper you didn't write. Feel free not to show up to the next class."
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with Wreybies - this is a parent thing. If they haven't taught their kids they need to do their own work, that cheating is wrong PERIOD - well, the kids will learn the hard way at some point. And most teachers are familiar enough with students' normal level of work and style to know if they've paid for something like that.
     
  4. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Never heard of this kind of service at all, but not in the slightest surprised that such a service exists.

    The entire school system is broken. Attitude towards school is skew, which is reflected in how students in general perceive school, how teachers in general view their profession and students, and how society in general views education. If society thinks education is not very important, then it will not be very important. If you support a system where elected governing bodies use far more tax money to spend on its military than on education, then you are supporting a society that values the military more than education. Simple as that. And when a society supports such a system, you're bound to get an abundance of these problems.

    Of course, people who don't do well in school can always become part of the military that engages in wars that serve the economic interests of the government and select parts of the private sector.
     
  5. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    But there are so many examples in society where it is acceptable that someone else does your work, especially if you pay them. If a student is utterly unmotivated - as most are - despite the influence of parents, teachers and other parties, then surely society is doing something wrong? And before anyone goes there, let me just lay it down: the average student is unmotivated most of the time, so saying "students have to learn that sometimes they have to do what they don't want to do" is not only incorrect, but dangerous: you're telling them that they should expect to spend most of their working time doing things they don't want to do! That's not motivational. I don't have any statistics, but I've taught between grades 6 and 9, been in high school - I'm a drop out myself - and have seen a high school in Canada, heard of two high school in the US, and spoken with teenagers a lot, and this seems to be the general consensus.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Are you actually proposing that it is fine for kids to pay for papers because there are other examples in life where paying for services is acceptable? Are you serious?

    Oh, I'm "going there". The fact that you "lay it down" doesn't mean there is an ounce of truth or sense in what you have just said. Telling kids that life is filled of things that you may not want to do is not dangerous, it's realism. That IS what life is like. Filling the heads of children with the idea that only the slightest effort on their part will cause rivers of money, love, sex, and adulation to come their way, that's dangerous because that's a lie. The new "trophies for mediocrity" mindset is what is dangerous. And this expertise you seem to be claiming, which appears to be a product of the aforementioned mindset, that you have seen a high school and heard of two others... if that's expertise, then let me extoll to you the hundreds of PhDs I have.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what do you mean by 'online writer'?

    i provide writing services to clients, but would never write a paper for a student... as a mentor i do help students to see what's wrong with their writing and help them to improve their writing skills, but not by doing any of it for them... those who offer such services online are blatantly immoral and unethical, imo...
     
  8. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I also agree with you. I struggled a great deal through school as I was not suited for it, but could I just say, "Nah, this doesn't motivate me" and drop out? I could go to jail for that. And you're right, that's life. I'm still doing things which I hate, but I also have things which I love, and that's fine. Can we just not pay bills and not go to court if we've done something wrong just because "it doesn't motivate us"? Erm, no.

    Sad fact, I'm afraid.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe if we used "pride in doing your best" as motivation instead of material things and instant gratification, we wouldn't have to worry about this crap so much.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Aha! Now there's a mindset I can espouse. ;)
     
  11. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    No no, you misunderstood. I'm saying that there are factors in society that are detrimental to an already unmotivated student. It's another form of the classical, albeit misinformed, "X person dropped out of school and is a millionaire, and Y celebrity without education is making $$$ - why should I have to study?" question that every now and then pops up. The problem isn't of course that students are paying for getting assignments done for them, the problem is why they feel it's okay to do this or why they are willing to part with money in order to not do work which is supposed to be for their own sake, unlike doing work for a company where your reason for working may be just for the money.


    Please don't make this about a sensational expression, because the amount of truth in my statement is not based on the fact that I "[laid] it down". The choices of schools were entirely arbitrary and observations lead to similar conclusions. I could have added my father's fifteen years of working and my brother's years in the academia around the world, national information presented to me by universities (I should add here that I'm part of my university's educational branch), and so on and so forth but all you really have to do is pick an arbitrary high school student, ask them to anonymously submit their thoughts on school, and you will be getting either "pointless" or "so I can get a job" - but seriously, the latter answer is a bullshit answer. High school education is not a requirement for getting a low-wage job, we just made it an artificial requirement. Throw at me all those hundreds of PhDs you have, I dare you to find me one student who will not be studying any form of science in college or university but thinks that trigonometry, algebra and calculus will be useful in life. Then bring me one adult who is not using mathematics in their job who feels that these math topics were necessary or even important. Okay, I'm not saying finding such people is impossible, but you get the gist of it: those people are rare.

    I never even came close to suggesting that school should teach children that "only the slightest effort on their part will cause rivers of money, love, sex, and adulation to come their way"; my point is that society does this too much already. Now, are you suggesting that school should aim to teach students what "life is like"? Very well, why isn't there more education on cooking, cleaning, washing, managing your economy, mortgages, how various social systems actually work, how computers actually work, how to fix broken items in your home like pipes, furniture, how to install cables, and so on and so forth?

    You see, the problem is quite simple: We tell our children that they should learn X, Y and Z, but we often suck at explaining why they should learn it with them accepting our explanations. I think with internet available, students have become more and more able to learn what things are and are not needed later on in life. So they will prefer not to put effort into something which they believe has a small chance of being a benefit later on in life.

    "Why should I learn math?"

    "Why should I learn about poetry?"

    "Why would I care about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? Our government doesn't."

    "Why would I care about learning how to write academic English? Not gonna need it, and if I do, I'll learn it later."

    "Why should I drill the names and locations of all these cities, rivers and mountains? I'm gonna forget most of them after the exam."

    "Why do I care about the ancient Greeks or shit in the Middle Ages? Happened like a thousand years ago."

    Questions like these pop up all the time. And the other students are just regurgitating what adults have told them. They don't understand it. "Because a good education leads to a good job" - bullshit, the world is filled with counter-examples of that statement; people without education getting filthy rich, and people with education working for ten bucks an hour. "Because it's important to understand different things in life and about the world", says the student without having ANY idea WHY this is important.


    I despise indoctrination, and I am convinced that ordering children to do things they don't want to do for the majority of their lives between ages 6 and 18 is extremely inefficient and in some ways detrimental to them. So if you want to extoll me with your hundred PhDs, convince me first why math education is important. I pick math because it's known as that one subject that almost everyone hates and finds meaningless.
     
  12. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    This kind of mindset is far more beneficial and far easier to motivate than the mindset placed on students today. Sadly, such a mindset meets obstacles in the form of failed exams and, more importantly, poor grades - where doing one's best no longer matters, and your grade average is everything.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Do you now see how, had you been more specific and precise in in your wording, you would have saved yourself being misunderstood by myself and all of the other respondents. I actually agree with a good bit of what you have now said, but this is not what you originally indicated by virtue of your original post.

     
  14. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    I'm terribly sorry about that. In all honesty, I'm grateful for you pointing this out; I'll try to be clearer next time. For some reason, I decided to play the Devil's Advocate - rather unsuccessfully, from the looks of it ;)
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No worries. :) It happens to us all. A bit of poor/vague wording once long ago had the forum believing I supported child prostitution. Just imagine! :eek::D
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It may be inefficient and detrimental (both of which I doubt), but once they graduate, they'll be doing a lot of things they don't want to do - like getting a job and earning a living. And frankly, kids are made to do a lot of things they don't want to outside of school, too - like household chores (unless of course their parents are willing to let them be couch potatoes). My son used to complain about having to do "stupid stuff" in school - my standard answer was "So?". He turned out all right.
     
  17. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Let's try to separate wishful thinking from realistic possibilities. They do want to get a job, because otherwise they won't be able to pay rent. They would like to be able to live in a house without paying rent, but then someone else has to pay it, and no one is required to support them. So realistically speaking, they do want some way of supporting themselves. It's empowering and it builds confidence to be able to support yourself. Talk to anyone who has been unable to support themselves at some point in their lives and you will probably hear similar sentiments - I've been there myself.

    You also missed my point entirely. I'm not saying that school should be about doing only what students want to do. It's about giving them motivation and adequate explanations behind why they should learn what they're required to learn. I dislike it when parents tell their children X, Y or Z and simply say "because I said so" when questioned about it. This teaches children to not question authority and take their word on blind faith and that, once they have authority themselves, they should not be questioned. If you cannot see how problematic this is, let me know and I'll try to explain it further.

    With proper education, a student can go on to live a fulfilling life because there are many things in life to appreciate outside of one's career. However, the current educational system is doing a great job in destroying students' interest in mathematics and literature, two things that have tremendous beauty while at the same time are sources of something fundamentally vital to living a good life: reason, critical thinking, knowledge, understanding, and awareness of one's thoughts and emotions. It fails to teach students the most important parts of politics and history; that which is happening around them right now, the world as it is today. I'm not saying every single school subject is bad, but I'm saying most are taught for the wrong reasons in wrong ways and that there are several flaws in emphasis in some subjects.

    The educational system is growing increasingly inefficient with the modern advancements in technology and global communication. Your son may have turned out alright, but your son is not every student. And perhaps your son is far less the person he could've been with proper education. I am a counter-example to your son. Despite my schools's common consensus that I was exceptionally bright, I ended up dropping out (I still don't believe I am that bright). School was detrimental to my learning. Consider this: I'm in university studying mathematics, but school in general pre-university did an excellent job in nearly killing all interest I had in the subject. I know I'm not unique, so there must be others who have also experienced that school has been detrimental to their education.

    To drive home my point, let me ask you: How does your son feel about mathematics? How do you feel about mathematics? Can you explain why? Based on what you have seen, heard and read throughout your life, what do you think the average person feels about mathematics? Whatever it is you think, what do you think is the reason behind this?
     
  18. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Also, shadowwalker, was it your son or you who thought that those mandatory things in school were stupid? If it was your opinion, doesn't that say something about education? It shouldn't be stupid. If it was your son's opinion, why do you think he thought it was stupid? Have you ever considered that perhaps your son understood that this particular thing was actually stupid? If something so vital to our society as education has a shortcoming, isn't it in our interest to attempt to rectify that shortcoming?

    I should add an additional apology here; it should be apparent now that I have particularly strong feelings about education, and it is one of the very few things in life I feel is being lamentably mishandled. I really should try keeping my emotions in check in the future when discussing this topic - I don't like getting carried away like that ;)
     
  19. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    To answer both your posts in short and succinct manner, I loved math. My son loved math. We both use math a lot in our lives - like to make sure the clerks who hated math give us the correct change. I hated science, my son loved it. We've both found uses for it over time. One example of "stupid" on which we concurred was gym class. Now companies make millions selling memberships to 'fitness clubs'. It's really amazing how many things people thought were stupid when they were kids, and as adults they've found a good use for them.
     
  20. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    Thank you for proving my point. Almost any mathematics student will tell you how much they loathe calculations, and that rote exercises and drilling formulas and algorithms are the worst parts of mathematics. What you described is boring arithmetic, at times useful but a grossly perverted view of what mathematics actually is. Basic arithmetic is not the same as the algebra, calculus and geometry taught in school.
     
  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But of course, until one learns the basic arithmetic (which is taught in school, so not sure what your last statement means), they can never move on to algebra, calculus, or geometry. So because basic arithmetic, and the rote learning necessary to getting it down, is "boring", we should just let kids skip it and move on to the higher math and flounder around there? Personally, I felt a great deal of satisfaction when I finally learned all the "boring" stuff so I could do it quickly and accurately, and didn't have to spend tortuous hours trying to figure things out when I got to the higher math.

    At any rate, I think we've moved a bit into left field and away from the OP.
     
  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    [MENTION=55406]Orihalcon[/MENTION] - your views are interesting. I must say, now almost 26, married and working freelance and living abroad, I think back to school and I see almost everything I learnt as utterly useless. I did not learn to be more socially tolerant at school - I learnt that at church amongst a community of international people, as well as at university. I did not learn to be more open-minded at school - I learnt that, once again, amongst international friends at uni and at church. In fact, school was a very close-minded space, if anything. I can name one very simple example - the Pakistani minority at school liked to hang out in a different space to the English kids. You enter the two spaces, you'll find a white community and a Muslim community, you would not find anyone mixing during lunch times etc. It wasn't a racist school - I chatted and befriends a number of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims during class, but at break times, somehow there was this split. I spent my school life thinking, "Well I do welcome them, but they wanna set themselves apart. I've invited them to hang out with us over here but they don't want to. Not my problem. They want to be different."

    Almost a decade later, and only now I ask myself, why on earth didn't I go over to them? I tell myself, I found it intimidating that no one's white. Interesting - why the heck should that matter? (and if I found an all-Muslim community intimidating for no reason, why did I never consider the same might have been the same for them?) But white was the "norm" (it being England) so I considered that they should fit in with us. Funny I say "us" - I'm not white. I'm Chinese.

    But school didn't teach me this. The teachers never talked about it, and us teenagers didn't know much better. I learnt this as an adult, which is a little too late.

    As for what school did teach me, the only thing I found valuable was some basic biology and English, and WWII. I absorbed English Lit like a sponge. The rest I have forgotten, and I don't miss it. The only reason why I think kids should work hard for their grades and get good grades is to train up that discipline to do what they don't enjoy, train up their endurance and perseverance, all good and essential qualities for life. That's the only reason. We all know grades don't matter and neither does most of what we learn in school.

    What was useful was university - and that not because of the education but because of the environment it provides, namely the wealth of different people from different backgrounds with different perspectives.

    But otherwise, school doesn't teach you much, and neither school nor university teaches one things such as compassion, mercy, humility etc.

    Why should we care about what we learn? Honestly, I don't know, beyond training up our personal character and perhaps knowledge for knowledge's sake.

    Btw, I hate maths :D Never saw a point in it. Although now I can't even do basic maths without getting it horribly wrong. Sure, I wish I was better, but only at working out how much the bills are or how much change I should get back at a shop. I wouldn't care for calculus and whatnots. However, I see value in it - you need advanced maths skills to become an engineer to make cars and bridges or become a physicists or architect, all important stuff. But since I wish to be none of those, what do I care?
     
  23. GoodTweetyBird
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    GoodTweetyBird Member

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    Teenage cheating is like easy to like spot. Like if the word "like" doesn't like make up like 20 % of the text, then it's like probably not their work, like ya know like?
     
  24. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    No, we are still in the field of trying to understand the causes behind student cheating. Only when we understand the problem can we attempt to solve it. I'm using mathematics because the subject isnotorious for being hated, difficult to understand and unmotivated with people understanding that most of us won't need it. It's the prime example of the point I'm trying to make: Students will cheat and more generally not care about education because a lot of it is unmotivated, inadequately explained work that also happens to be mostly tedious and boring, not to mention that math in particular is a great source of emotional stress and anxiety in young people. This is not what school is supposed to be.

    You dodged the most important question: Based on what you have seen, heard and read throughout your life, what do you think the average person feels about mathematics? Why do you think that is? To extend this further, what is the purpose of algebra, geometry and calculus? This isn't basic arithmetic and it certainly isn't used in daily life. When you start at university, you learn this again anyhow and in a more correct manner, so those who want to use it in their future career: high school math won't really help you. University math will.

    I never suggested students should skip basic arithmetic. I said that it is considered by most mathematicians to be the most boring part. Basic arithmetic will help you very little in understanding calculus, algebra or geometry. Memorizing formulas and algorithms and learning where and when to apply them is not actual mathematics, nor is it in any way a proper way of measuring your understanding of the subject. Again, your "education" in mathematics has shown its ugly face: you do not understand what mathematics is and know very little about what mathematics there is and the current school system is entirely to blame for this. There is a vast amount of very elementary mathematics that is more fun, creative and beautiful and that do a far better job at what math education is supposed to do than the "mathematics" taught today.

    So now that we have one subject in place that students feel is worthless, this leads to the first problem: the credibility of formal education takes a hit. And the more students are forced to do boring work under the false premise that it's supposed to help them further down the road in life - and people on the internet tell these students that this is not the case - the more school's credibility is reduced until at some point, which is certainly individual, students will stop caring about their education and only care about their grades because society requires this of them. This has nothing to do with personal growth or increasing your knowledge or understanding of the world. This is extremely problematic.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    Well, I would argue that it isn't used in daily life by many people because those people never learned it properly. Basic algebra and geometry would be pretty basic to daily life if people did understand it. If you want to mulch your garden to a depth of six inches, you need geometry to figure out how many cubic feet of mulch to buy. That geometry would guide a simple algebraic formula.

    (FeetOfMulchDepth X SquareFeetOfGardenSpace) / (CubicFeetPerBagOfAcmeMulch)=BagsOfMulchToBuy

    How many square feet of growing space for corn do you need to prepare in your garden, if you want to store it as frozen kernels?

    (((PoundsOfKernelsPerPerson/PoundsOfKernelsPerEar) X PeopleInHousehold) / EarsPerPlant) X (SquareFeetPerPlant)=SquareFeetOfPlantingSpaceNeeded

    Edited to add another example: How many yards of fabric do you need to make ten yards of four-inch-wide bias strip to finish a quilt's edges?

    And another: The seed packet tells you to plant onions at a three inch spacing. The garden book says that you can plant them in groups of three, as long as the square inches per onion are the same. That would make weeding much easier. What spacing do you need to use to make the square inches per onion the same?

    Heck, on Dinner Impossible (yes, I watch food reality TV), a lot of restaurant owners can't seem to handle a concept as simple as "cost of ingredients". In the real world, many people don't seem to have the faintest idea how much their purchases will cost them after credit card interest is paid.

    I do agree that school math is very rarely taught in any remotely practical way, so people simply aren't interested in it. But I would certainly argue that algebra and geometry, if perhaps not calculus, are useful in daily life.

    BTW, I seem to recall that the book _The Homework Myth_ argues that "drilling" is counterproductive. If the student understands the concept, he should continue and build on it rather than practicing it; if he doesn't, then he needs to learn it rather than practicing it without a real understanding. I find the book, including this argument, pretty convincing.
     

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