No, not home economics, or English literature, or history. Math. Numbers. Calculations.
I was fortunate enough to have the same math teacher in high school from beginner’s algebra to geometry to trigonometry to calculus. She taught her math students the old fashioned way. Math was learned by hand standing in front of the board with a marker and a problem. That’s how we learned to think.
That was then and this is now and thinking in math terms is limited to touching buttons on the iPhone.
Here’s a good way to spend less than $5 and improve your thinking ability the old fashioned way. Shapes is a simple diagramming app for the Mac. It won’t teach you math skills but it will sharpen your thinking ability.
Shapes lets you drag and drop shapes onto the layout, then link the shapes with lines to form everything from a flow chart to an org chart.
The lines connect the shapes and snap to other shapes. This is a great, and inexpensive way to design process flows, system projects, model relationships, or, a visual way to think about a problem (sans the white board and dirty markers).
All the shapes and tools are in the same window. None of those floating-all-over-the-place palettes to worry about. Shapes is sufficiently simple enough to figure out in minutes. There’s no real learning curve.
That makes Shapes a good app to learn to create diagrams (before moving up to the more expensive apps which have a price tag that might require a second mortgage; although interest rates are low these days).
And, it works on OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, uses fullscreen mode, versioning, and saves documents to iCloud. It’s difficult to beat the utility and price ratio.