Friday Special: Alternative Problems

by Jana Hirsch

            Every Friday, the Punch Bowl allows any member of its staff to submit a column for the website. Today we have some news from Jana Hirsch, concerning the future of standardized testing.


Alternative Problems to the Same Old Solutions

           In today’s world the desire to make standardized tests fair and unbiased has led to an avalanche of new and exciting problems that students from all backgrounds can relate to. Following that pattern, many educational facilities have begun to confront students with problems that challenge not only their mental capacity, but also their real-life contextual common sense. Below are the top researched, completely fair and balanced, new and improved problems of the future. So grab those TI-89 * and thinking caps and get crackin’!

Physics, the universal science:
Northeast Rural Regions:
You are driving your red 4×4 at a speed of 75mph when you hit a deer crossing at 3 mph at an 80 angle to your vehicle. What is the impact sustained by 1) your truck and 2) the deer if a) the deer hits your grill and bounces off to a distance of 30m, b) the deer hits your windshield and gets stuck or c) the deer hits your truck, is stopped in its place and then runs off.

Urban “Diverse” Centers:
One night you out partying it up with yo’ bros when you come across tha’ f-ed up bitch who played you last week (what a ho). The ho is hangin’ fro tha’ damn motha f-ing fi’scape like bling from yo neck. Tha’ bitch have got her a sixth sense, man, tha’ allows her to drop that metal the second tha’ a bullet leaves the muzzle of your gun. She’s also mad busted. “Where should you and yo boys point that shit to cap that son of a bitch?
a) Above that damn whore.
b) Directly at the f-ed up bitch.
c) Below the wack’d out ho.

Gated Communities:
A feather is dropped on the moon (isn’t the moon lovely, darling?) from a height of 1.40 meters (how funny that you said meters, we’re not in England, dear!). The acceleration of gravity on the moon is 1.67 m/s2 (maybe someday we’ll go there on vacation, wouldn’t that be wonderful?). Determine the time for the light, wonderful, whimsical feather to fall to the surface of the moon.

Calculus; numbers cross all language barriers:
Northeast Rural Regions:
A sound so faint that it can just be heard has intensity I0=10-12 watt/m2 at a frequency of 1000 hertz (Hz). The loudness, in decibels (dB), of a sound with intensity I is then defined to be L=10 log10(I/ I0). The noise from a 1958 Series II Field Marshall tractor is measured at 100 dB, whereas the noise from a road tractor or tractor unit engine pulling a long semi-trailer is measured at 106 dB. Find the ratio of the intensity of the Field Marshall noise to that of the tractor unit.

Urban “Diverse” Centers:
You dealin’ bro grows that shit in precizizzle ‘mounts. The nicks of tha’ grade-a hash (h) tha’ is sold is a function of the price (p) that he can get for that top mary jane befo the fuzz can bag tha’ deal, so we can writizzle h=f(p), Then the total yayo he gets from top refer if he rollin’ deep p is M(p)=pf(p).
a) What shit do it mean to say that f(20)=10,000 and f’(20)=-350?
b) Assumin’ tha’ numbs in the above shit is true, find M’(20) and interpret tha’ shiznit!

Gated Communities:
a) William wants to have a total of $4000 in two years so that he can put a hot tub on his deck (William is such a nice man, even if I heard that he’s part Irish). He finds an account that pays 5% interest compounded monthly (Which quite low don’t you think, dear? Even Tiffany’s allowance trust fund has a better rate than that). How much should William put into this account so that he’ll have $4000 at the end of two years?
b) Suppose William (I wonder if anyone is bringing him to the debutant ball this year) only has $3500 to invest (oh dear, I guess he doesn’t come from money) but still wants $4000 for a hot tub (Maybe we should just go to the country club). He finds a bank offering 5.25% interest compounded quarterly (I said I don’t care anymore if he’s only got $3500). How long will he have to leave his money in the account to have $4000 (… why are you still telling me this?)?

*TI-89 calculators are not required for these questions as requirement of them may put students with financial hardships at an unfair disadvantage. Haha, poor people.

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