Could. Not. Agree. More. Walking in the woods with my 16-year-old the other day, he asks, “Dad, do you ever use algebra?” Answer: No (I’m write for a living). I — no doubt like you — knew what was coming next. “Then why do we have to learn it?” Modern instruction — particularly here in the U.S. where teaching to the test is all that matter — has robbed learning (and teaching, for that matter) of all its spirit.