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Redneck Mama Excel Formulas | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Redneck Mama Excel Formulas

I asked yesterday if you wanted more impromptu blogs. The answer was yes. Then I was asked to write a blog with imaginary Excel formulas. Here goes.

The first time my boss told me 20 years ago he wanted an “If” formula in a spreadsheet, I told him they didn’t exist. 

So he got the book and showed me where they were and told me to figure them out. Then I realized they were like what my logic class had taught.

The 3 parts of If/Then statements are If, Then, and Not.

Little did I know that years later, I would be teaching Excel and would GET to introduce If functions to classes. If someone has no background with them, they can be intimidating.  When you look in the whites of your students’ eyes and see an “Oh crap” creep into their gaze, you know it’s time to meet them where they are. Make the tough stuff manageable. Summarize the important stuff so the key points are understandable.

So I invented the Redneck Mama If Then Example:

=If (I come home from work at night and my children are already asleep, Mama’s happy and the world is full of rainbows and unicorns, Mama’s not happy and if Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy)


IF: When my children were babies, I worked evenings after my husband finished his job. When I got home from classes, near 10 p.m., I wanted both kids in bed asleep.

THEN: When that criteria was met, all was right with the world.

NOT: If that criteria was not met, then I was not happy. When I’m not happy, my kids aren’t happy, and I could guarantee you my husband would not be happy either.

Summary: An If function is something we all live all the time.  Math just puts it into a formula. In addition, sometimes we have multiple ifs. Excel takes that into account to and will let us nest If/Then statements as needed.

Once I understood the 3 parts of an If function (If, Then, Not), I sometimes wished the real world were as manageable as arguments in Excel.

Time taken to meet today’s challenge: 30 minutes plus a little help from my favorite graphics helper.

My question for you: What would you like my next impromptu blog topic to be?

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