Enlightened ramblings of a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Bushels of Wheat

Once again today, I baffled beyond speech some poor bastard working at the local convenience store. For your own sake, please learn from my mistake.

So what did I do that had this product of public school education so dumbfounded? I gave him a quarter after he had already rung up my total and looked at the screen to determine my change.

My total, $3.16. I originally gave him $4.00. While he was ringing me up, I dug in my pocket and found a quarter. I offered it to him after he had completed pushing his 4 buttons to determine my change. He just stood there with a blank gaze wondering why I was giving him a quarter. I told him to take the quarter and give me back $1.09 instead of the $.84 he wanted so badly to hand to me.

Again, he looked at the screen on the register and back at my outstretched hand. After a quick explanation as to what it was I was doing and a loud sigh from the lady behind me, he pensively handed over the $1.09. I am sure that as I walked out the door he still had no idea what had just taken place.

Back in 1885, 8th graders in Kansas were expected to know such things as these:

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per are, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

You think one of them could have given me correct change?

In the future, I will make sure to hand the nice man all my money at once. You should do the same.


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