Seriously Excuse Eddie’s Stinky Socks: My Mental-Health Order of Operations


Feet_in_socksLast night, I helped my daughter with a math problem:

6 + 8 x 4 % (4 + 3 – 7) – 3 x 4

Her lesson was on the Order of Operations. You know, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” First you tackle the parentheses, then the exponents. Then you do multiplication and division. Finally, you solve the addition and subtraction. All of it is done left to right, keeping the right order of those operations.

I knew there had to be a rule, because there were too many possible answers to that problem. Tackling it without any instruction required too many brain cells. I couldn’t remember back to my math days for the life of me, and apparently my daughter wasn’t paying attention in class, so we did what we always do when we’re confused: surfed YouTube for videos.

We found a great tutorial to teach us the order of operations, and now I get it.

It makes perfect sense.

I was amazed at how simple that problem is when you tackle it from the order of operations. My daughter would get confused at first when there weren’t any parentheses. A few times I had to drill it in her head that she should only add or subtract after the multiplication or division is done. PLEASE EXCUSE MY DEAR AUNT SALLY!

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