OMG! I found a use for Algebra

“But I’m never going to use this in real life!” I always say this whenever I had to answer word problems in Algebra.

Do you still remember typical problems like: Two trains depart from Town X travelling in opposite directions. The second train is 200 miles per hour faster than the first. After 2 hours they are 1200 miles apart. Find the speeds of the trains. (Oh please don’t ask me to solve this problem again. ) The teachers were right, they were a problem alright.

There are times when they want you to find X and Y and even Z. X, Y and Z caused me a lot of headaches and sleepless nights. Why is X always missing?

Oh and then sometimes, they try to make you solve age problems like: A man is 24 years older than his son. In two years, his age will be will be twice the age of his son. The present age of the son is? Believe me, many a times I was tempted to write, “Don’t know. Don’t want to know. Don’t care. Is the son cute?”

Fast forward to last night …

Ria, Dingdong and I met up a little before 7pm for our 15K run. Emer was coming from Ortigas and will just follow. It was raining like crazy last night but we enjoyed our run. Except when the thunder and lightning show started, that was a bit scary.


Since Emer was going to follow, we opted to use the usual 10K route that would take us from BHS to Heritage via Lawton and Bayani. Ria brought her celfone so we will know when to expect Emer.

On our way back to BHS and a few meters before we reached Essensa, we saw the text message from Emer. He said he was running towards Heritage. Message was sent 7 minutes ago. We started running again and was expecting to see him somewhere around the Lawton-Mckinley intersection. When we reached the intersection and did not see him we started wondering and doing computations.

If he left 7mins ago, he should have been at Mckinley based on a 6-7min/km pace. Unless he turned Kenyan on us and was running at 3min/km. Then we should have seen him then before he turned left at Bayani. 

Problem: If Emer was running at 6min/km on the BHS-Heritage 10K route and left 7minutes ago, where would Emer be in the route? Find Emer.

We eventually reached BHS and found Emer. It was raining so hard he turned back and decided to wait for us crazies who decided to run and splash away in the rain.

Waterlogged but we still managed to log in 15K. A good run with a little  mental math exercise on the side. 

Algebra is useful afterall.


7 thoughts on “OMG! I found a use for Algebra

  1. Hi Bards!

    Amphibiuos runners, eh…

    (1) 200mph and 400mph; Where did these trains come from? They’re REALLY FAST
    (2) Son is 22, Dad is 46; I bet he is

    See you at Camp Aguinaldo 😉

  2. vimz – i actually have another proposal. combine physics and geometry and call it Billiards Appreciation Class. Schools should really learn how package math subjects better. 😀

    BroJ – Kulit Mode ON. See you sa Masters?

    BR – See you next Sunday. Somebody promised me rhum and coke instead of beer hehe

    Ray – more time … OMG! You solved it. Well, i really wouldnt know if you gave the correct answer. re: the trains … the original problem said planes but in HS they always say train so i practiced my creative license hence the really fast trains.

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