Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clarification of Math for Today (9/14/2010)

This equation seemed  to make sense to pretty much everybody.  Maybe because addition is super easy.

meat + salt + pepper + heat = yum!

My husband found this equation

difficulty in explaining your new name the drivers license office = (number of words in your last name)^2

difficult to understand. Clearly, some variables to replace the words will clarify.  The difficulty of explaining your new name to the clerk at the drivers license office, d, is equal to the number of words in your last name, w, squared or
d = w^2

Still not obvious? I think an few examples might help those less math brained.  It is normal to see an equation and try out some numbers in your head to see how it works, right?

So.  Say you have one word in your new last name. Most people do, so it's a good example.  We're trying to find the difficulty, d, of 1.  We'll go ahead and call that d(1). All we have to do is plug in w, the number of words in your last name.

d(1) = 1^2 = 1

So far, so good.  Great. Now what if you had two names, like because you'd already published things under your maiden name and you wanted to keep your name since you'd had it for 27 years, but you wanted your new husbands name too because you like the idea of sharing a last name with your kids and you like your last name because it's your daddy's and you wouldn't have to deprive them of that. Say, for instance your last name was Campbell Hibbs.

d(2) = 2^2 = 4

Does it make sense now? It might just be a math person joke. I think in terms of numbers.

Greater than or equal to would probably be more accurate.  I spent the first five or ten minutes trying to convince them that I really did legally have a two word last name. Imagine this conversation

Me: I need to change my name on my license to my married name.
Woman: Do you have a certified copy of your marriage license?
Me: Why yes, I do and my new social security card.


silent thought bubble over my head (wow! this is much easier than expected.)

Woman: Can you review the information and make sure it's correct?


silent scream.

Me: My legal last name is Campbell Hibbs, C-A-M-P-B-E-L-L space H-I-B-B-S.
Woman: We're only allowed to put in one last name.
Me: I don't really care what it says, but it wouldn't be my legal name on my license which seems a little problematic.
Woman: No, when you get married Hibbs becomes your last name and your maiden name becomes a middle name.
Me: No. When I filled out the paperwork with the social security administration I made a point of keeping my maiden name as part of my last name.

To be fair, your social security card does not specify if a word is a middle or last name.

Woman: We aren't supposed to hyphenate them in the system.
Me: There isn't a hyphen.  It's a space.
Woman to other woman: We're not allowed to use hyphens in the last name, are we?

Waiting while call is made into some higher authority...

Other woman to woman: They say just put it in with a hyphen.
Me: There is no hyphen.
Other woman: Or a space.
Woman (hesitantly): If they say so. They've been telling us not to hyphenate.

typing, typing, typing...


Yet another woman: Now you know, that will mean that the registration on your vehicle and your husbands will be due at different times.
Me: Is that a problem?

That went on for several minutes and I had my no makeup on, wearing a torn t-shirt picture taken even though I'd just had it taken last December. By the time I left, there was a line and the people in it seemed a little miffed at my chipper attitude. 

What can I say?  I'm fun, even when I'm super frustrated.

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