End of civilization? Or just part of the process of change
Dear Annie: I recently rode on the New York State Thruway. My toll was US$ 2.25. I gave the toll collector, who appeared to be a recent high school graduate, a US$ 5 bill plus a quarter. I saw him count out three quarters, and when I saw that he was going for some singles, I said, “I want three singles, please.” All of a sudden, it dawned him how this worked and I heard him say, “Ohhh!”
What are the schools teaching these kids? I knew this when I was in the fourth grade. — K.
Dear K.: Schools still teach mathematics, but we aren’t sure they teach the variables of counting out change. And since most people now use credit cards, debit cards or electronic pay options on their cellphones ( and cashiers use registers that tell them what the change should be), we aren’t sure a toll collector fresh out of high school would come across this type of calculation often enough for it to be automatic. But we’d bet if you saw this same kid in a year, he wouldn’t have any problem at all.