SO NOW I had a page full of word problems which I really hadn't figured out how to solve in a coherent manner, and now I had to solve it using x and equations, which I barely understood at this point.
I was pretty desperate. This was before the internet so you couldn't just go online and Google up a tutorial. I remembered my childhood friend, Arthur, two years my senior and studying in another school. Arthur was always winning math contests here and there so I thought he could really help me.
I called him up, explained my situation and he asked me right then to read him one of the problems, which I did. Then he told me to write some stuff down, never mind if I didn't understand it at that point. Then he explained to me what I had just written down, and how it related to the problem. And as I was listening to him, and looking at the problems, and looking at the solution, understanding slowly dawned on me.
To this day, I cannot explain how it happened. One minute, I was a confused mess staring at a bunch of number problems, coin problems, speed problems, work problems and so on. The next minute, I was seeing them in a new light, suddenly understanding how to translate the sentences into equations, then solving for the ever elusive x.SEE MORE