It's corn time! This year I thought I'd buy some to put up in the freezer. We eat a lot of corn, and end up buying a lot of canned corn. Even though we buy the low-sodium versions, I still think we can do better (and it will taste better) if we freeze our own.
One of the things I've really enjoyed this summer is going to the Farmer's Market on Tuesday mornings. Less than half of the Saturday vendors set up, but the ones I usually patronize are usually there. Our Farmer's Market is only open on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Fridays actually have fewer vendors open than Tuesday, and Saturday is insanely busy.
This morning, I headed out there to buy some corn. Since I've never actually bought it in bulk and frozen it, I wasn't sure how much I would need to make this a worthwhile project. My usual produce vendor didn't have corn today, but the stand next to it did. Their sign read 3 for $1.00. As I stood there pondering, the young (20ish) man asked if he could help. I told him I was trying to decide how much to buy since I wanted to freeze it. He waited patiently, but didn't offer any suggestions as to how much it would yield. It would have been helpful, but I wasn't surprised. Finally, I just said to give me $20.00 worth. He pulled out his cardboard sign and looked it over for a few minutes. He then called across the aisle to an older gentleman and asked him how much for 20. The man replied that 21 would be $7.00, so around $6.70. I interrupted to say not 20 ears of corn, $20.00 worth. Out came the cardboard sign again. I mentioned that since it was 3 for $1.00 and I was buying $20.00, then it would be 60 ears of corn.
Around the corner came a 40ish woman who asked the young man what he was doing, he explained that I wanted to purchase $20.00 worth of corn. She went right to her calculator. I said nothing because I was thinking there must be some kind of quantity discount and they were trying to figure out exactly how much corn to give me. After a few minutes of her playing with the calculator and the man, who had now pulled out a pencil, doing the math by hand on his piece of cardboard, I heard the woman tell him that it would be 30 ears of corn. Once again, I interrupted to say that if it was 3 for $1.00 and I wanted $20.00 worth wouldn't that be 60 ears of corn? She looked at me for a minute. Tapped some more numbers in her calculator and agreed with me.
I stood there in disbelief. They had actually spent all this time trying to do such basic math, not trying to calculate some kind of discount like I had assumed. As a teacher, you can imagine how disappointing it was to see. Not being able to handle this level of math is the equivalent of math illiteracy. We're not talking Algebra or Calculus or Geometry. We are talking basic multiplication.
I shared this story with Jim so he can pass it on to his students. They don't want to be either party in this scenario. They don't want to be the retailer who tried to charge me double, nor would they want to be the customer who would pay double. You lose in both cases.Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry