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Three x minus nine

“Three x minus nine?” I heard one of the guys say.

There were three of them huddled together near the classroom door. The semester was drawing to a close. Our last lesson with new material was behind us. What remained was a day or two of review and then the final. These guys were taking the review days to heart.

“Three x minus nine? You mean three x equals nine, don’t you?”

He got up from their huddle and walked to the whiteboard to look at the details in my worked out solutions to the semester review packet they were working on.

“Ooooooh,” he said as he looked at the solution. “You switch the x and the y.”

I never did figure out exactly what the confusion was, but it doesn’t matter. I stood silently and watched as he turned, returned to their huddle, and explained to them whatever it was that he learned. I think that counts as a victory.