The total is a number you try to find after adding up the sum of its parts. Total to me is mathematical. I love to add numbers, because one of my math teachers made us learn our number combinations in addition, and subtraction. We worked on the memorizing, and then she gave pop tests daily, until we understood she was serious about this. We learned the combinations. I still know mine.
When I go to the grocery store, I may be pleased with the total after I have paid twenty-five dollars in cash to decrease the total amount. It is my hard-earned money, but when I see a bill over one hundred dollars, it is time to put some back, or bring out my money. I bring it out, and the total goes down.
In school we used to race to see who could work the math problems faster. We went to the chalkboard by two’s. Usually I would be slow, but once I learned the combinations, I could get through my problems with more speed. I am still grateful for one Math teacher who insisted on teaching us the basics until we actually knew them. She saw improvement in all of us.
Later, when I taught school, I worked on the combinations in math before we did much in the book. It worked. Those who studied their combinations were better math students and started making better grades. Math became an awesome subject, because we went to the board, and worked against the clock to beat the other person in our math. It was fun, noisy, and the children scored higher that year in math.