Well, sadly many people have your perspective on math.However, your college algebra prof may have overstated when he said, "...the MOST important stuff..." (emphasis mine).When you consider how many persons tend to misuse their credit lines (paying those exorbitant interest rates), and how many DO NOT know how to balance their checkbooks I think it's some testament to why we as a nation are mathematically lagging several other countries. I will grant that some of the problems posed in algebra seem like Harry Potter's dilemmas  quite far fetched and impractical  but the truth is that algebra is not much more than arithmetic expanded to the point where you don't have to do trial and error to get an answer. If you view it from that perspective and overlook the outdated nature of some of the problems' data, then you'll recognize that indeed math deserves a place in your career; and the more competent you can become with it the better you'll be able to competently manage your life.This is more to encourage your paying attention and working at the subject; indirectly it also refutes your current attitude toward math. If you choose to live narrowly in  I'm going to call it "ignorant bliss"  you'll be choosing to be a potential victim to Ponzi schemes and payday lenders (which you may be required to WRITE ABOUT anyway); so even tho a victim perspective might be as interesting to read about as an authority's perspective, which would be your choice? ...victim or authority?I say stick with it; work at doing algebra well. Keep looking for applications/pertinence dispite outdated textbooks. Your prof is just trying to get your attention; give him credit for at least being enthusiastic about his work.
