Monday, August 23, 2010

The First Sine of Insanity... BEDA #23

... is math jokes. Never drink and derive, my friends.

I think that one reason I love math so much is that I have never had a bad math teacher.

The first I remember having was Mrs. O'Sullivan in fifth grade. She was a great fifth grade teacher; very animated and enthusiastic. We had Math Man and Remainder Dog to help us in our pre-pre-algebraic endeavors. Fifth grade math was a fun time.

In sixth grade we got more down to business. Mr. Garten was a tall, serious man. He spoke slowly and clearly, and had little change in expression, though he still managed to joke around with us. He had a massive jar of Mike and Ikes, and you could see your aspirations reflected in the concave design as you grabbed a handful for having good grades.

Seventh and eighth grade I had the most influential teacher of my life. Mrs. Ryan can be severe to misbehaving students; some purported to be scared of her. I adored her for her limitless enthusiasm for math and, well... life in general. I happen to be a favorite of hers (yes, still). She has often told me the story of when she met my dad, which is when she fell in love with my family. I still see her every week. On Mondays and Tuesdays I grade her seventh and eighth grade math papers. I get paid to check math (which I actually like doing) and talk to one of my favorite people in the world.

At St. Teresa's they offer a accelerated algebra class at seven in the morning for prospective freshmen. So as an eighth grader I met Joe Grantham. Dr. Joe was an old man who wore a baseball cap and floral print shirts. He claimed to live in the ghetto of Prairie Village, a neighborhood that is as innocent as it sounds. He loved using kumquats as a variable, rather than x. And at the end of the year he gave all of us licorice sticks and buckeyes, for good luck. Luckily, I had him again for Accelerated Geometry as a freshman.

My sophomore year I took Honors Algebra II, taught by one of the nicest, sweetest women you could possibly meet. Mrs. Weller dresses smartly in fashionable but unobtrusive skirts, pants, and blouses. She gesticulates as often as one of the Vlogbrothers, but keeps her motions mostly to her forearms, with her upper arms tucked tightly to her body. More than once the characters in her word problems would boogie x feet from a sound system that operated at y hertz. I heard rumors that she told her calculus class that they never had to do anything if it didn't go along with their "personal grooviness."

Last year, my junior year, was the first time that I had an unsavory math teacher. I stick by what I originally said: that I've never had a bad math teacher. Mrs. Hernon is exceptionally good at explaining how to manipulate sine curves. I learned a lot from her class. One thing I learned was that she did not like me. At all. Even though I love math, and did all my work, I couldn't stay blissfully ignorant of her contempt for me for very long. It started showing up in my grades. Yes. My grades. Regrettably, I cannot prove anything.

This year I am taking AP calculus, though, taught by the aforementioned Mrs. Weller. I am again enjoying every aspect of my math course and boogying along to the groovy tune of my life as a math nerd. *does the calculus dance*

With grooviness,

Something I learned today: I need to read Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken and write an essay on it by next Monday. So I leave you today to go work on that.


  1. My Algebra I teacher used to call class a "Math Orgy" every day, because some doofus in our class felt the need to look up orgy in the dictionary on the first day of class and the defintion was "A group of people doing the same thing at once" therefore Algebra was a "Math Orgy."

    Felt I needed to share that.

  2. Speaking of Hernon... I fell asleep in her class today. For the 3rd time in a row. The way she teaches doesn't hold my focus. She writes EVERY WORD THAT COMES OUT OF HER MOUTH on the SMART board and I hate it. No matter how hard I try, I always fall asleep. She needs to make it colder in the room.