Monday, December 22, 2008

Mathematical Musings: XII

There's no better time to be a high school math teacher than right now. Not only is there job security in these tentative economic times where being able to count to five can help secure your own job as it helps you show up to work Monday through Friday, but today is also the start of our two-week Holiday/Winter/Christmas break. That means for the next 14 days, I don't have to try to teach implicit differentiation, grade quizzes on exponential functions, make tests over integration techniques, or practice a single fire drill (although I may do this last one once or twice just to stay sharp.)

What better time to reflect and go through the list of the inane, comical, oxymoronic, and downright moronic things I have said in the classroom over the past 10 years. Here's another list of about 50 or so (how important is counting anyway?), as compiled by my students, who prefer to log my zany truisms rather than learn the properties of log functions.

  • . . . and your boss doesn't mind you giving massages for money while you are working for him at the pet store?!?! That's moonlighting in broad daylight!
  • Wrong!!! There is a hole in your reasoning. The reason there is a hole there is not because your calculator gives you an error. The calculator gives you an error because there is a hole there.
  • Parallel lines do meet, only incognito.
  • Alright, calm down there Parabola man. Don't get bent out of shape.
  • I really like to study polynomials with non-trivial coefficients because they have such shapely curves and nice figures.
  • Next year we will be getting a new precalculus book. We have already done extensive testing and we have concluded that it does look good sitting in the bottom of your lockers.
  • My fortune cookie message to you is that I hope that your summers are so cool that you are forced to wear a coat while sunbathing so as to avoid the dangerous UV rays.
  • Next year I think I'm going to do a little more to prepare my seniors for college. As part of my plans for a more rigorous curriculum, I plan on teaching them how to cook Ramen.
  • I want you all to have fun this summer. And if you don't have any fun, either get a job and buy some, or borrow some from a friend. I will even consider giving you an advance on the fun we will be having next year in math class.
  • People always come up to me and say, "Mr. Korpi, you are just so gawsh darn funny . . . looking." To which I burst out in laughter and reply, "That's a great one, but, you should see things from my perspective."
  • I stayed up all night worrying about whether y'all were up all night worrying about the test, but then I went to bed.
  • Quit fighting, y'all. There's plenty of math here to go around.
  • I just wanted to tell all of you that you all have class for showing up for the test today. I'd hate to make your trip for nothing.
  • I'm an animal lover, too. Especially cows, they make the best burgers. I knew this cow once they called Cookie. Man, you should have seen her work the camp griddle.
  • I'm sorry I offend you. Some things just come naturally to me.
  • Growing up, my dad used to say, "Eat your onions, boy. They'll put toes on your feet." Yep, my dad was never wrong, although he never could find me wide enough socks.
  • The little numbers written in the crotches of the radicals are called "indices, that's in-di-ces," which is also where many fish reside.
  • This year there will be no food or drinks, including water, allowed in class. This is especially challenging for us, because mathematics is so darn mouth-watering.
  • As part of your homework, this year, I want you to pre-read the next section of your textbook before you come to class. But wait, since you don't have textbooks this year, I guess you can't do that, after all. Oh, well! It's the thought that counts.
  • I will allow you to bribe me on the test. For $1 per point, you can buy your grade, not to exceed $50. We don't want it to look too obvious.
  • When we say the limit is infinity, we are really saying there IS no limit by saying that it IS infinite. For instance, if I say you have infinite potential, I am exaggerating, but I'm saying there is no limit to what you can or can't do.
  • Shhhhhhhhhhhhh, everybody. I feel a pledge coming on.--at the beginning of the TV announcements.
  • Am I going to have to turn up the "Moment of Silence," or will y'all just please talk a little more NOT AT ALL?--during the same TV announcements
  • A possible value for a would be b, unless of course a cannot be b, then a would be some other non-b value.
  • If what I'm saying is going over your head, I suggest you stand for the rest of the year, because I don't want to speak down to any of you.
  • When I say, "think quietly to yourself," I mean "in your head." Some of you have leaky ears, because I can hear you.
  • Let's do this problem democratically. How many of y'all say the answer is 5?
  • Please be kind to your Calculus books. They are in pretty bad shape. I don't know why, but they seem like they are subject to random acts of violence.
  • Have no fear!! I know how to turn the volume down on the TV before I turn the VCR on, I have been to "teacher school!" You should see me with an Overhead Projector!!
  • I don't like to consider myself as just a "Teacher," but rather more as a "Teach-em-all."
  • This year, I plan on moving more quickly through the curriculum, so that the time spent complaining about the content is minimized.
  • If I have to ask you to be quiet again, I'm gonna turn green and rip through my purple pants!--that ONE day I wore purple, actually "plum" colored pants to class
  • We need to multiply by several clever forms of one. In doing so, we don't change the value of the original expression, because "anything" times one is still "anything," as long as "anything" isn't just anything, but rather the original thing.
  • Do you realize that there is an actual difference between sweet potatoes and yams?! The yam proponents have launched a new campaign to educate the public: "We're not Sweet Potatoes, Yammit!"
  • Has anyone ever been in such a fierce downpour that the rain hurt like hail?
  • Sure you can sleep in class today. Just do it with your eyes open and pen moving. Also, be ready to respond should I suddenly call on you. Sweet Dreams.
  • Nothing makes me hungrier for Math than the thought of a cold yam.--commencing a logistically temperature growth problem involving a cold yam placed into a hot oven
  • Your book calls an arbitrary coordinate (u, v), but I will simply use (x, y). I try to avoid UV at all costs; there is a history of skin cancer in my family.
  • The folks at Harvard have nothing on y'all. The only difference is that they don't have any money because it all goes to their expensive tuition. . . . . No? . . . . . . Y'all don't buy that? . . . That's probably because y'all can't afford to buy it like those Harvard kids can.
  • I can't do anything about your Physics teacher. My hands are tied. . . . What?! . . . . He said he doesn't like Calculus?! Well, that's getting personal. Not only are my hands now untied, but they are in fists.
  • So to remember the Quotient Rule, just sing the diddy, "Ho-d-Hi minus Hi-d-Ho, over Ho Ho." In the denominator you have an abbreviated Holiday greeting from Santa. Although, Santa could also say Hi Hi, he would certainly say Ho Ho, first, hence, it goes in the denominator.
  • We can do this proof two ways: the short way or the long way. The difference is like going from here to San Antonio by going South (a distance of only 30 miles), or contrarily by going North. Either way, we shall eventually arrive at our destination. It's how the globe works.
  • If you go North, you’ll end up going South.--later in the same problem, warning against a potential dead end
  • When I get to the ocean, I won’t have to take a boat or an airplane! I have an amphibious vehicle, and you can’t tell me what I can and can’t do with it.
  • Now that we have finished the problem, let’s debrief, but keep your underpants on, please.
  • I took a bath instead of a shower last night because I wanted to conserve gravity. Yah, I figured there must be a shortage, because so many of my student’s heads were in the clouds.
  • (2cosx + 3sinx)^2 + (3cosx-2sinx)^2 is a very unlucky number, but, since it is a number, one could put it on one’s athletic jersey instead of the equivalent number, but be warned, people might think you were weird, because, who would pick such an unlucky number for their jersey.
  • When I finally found the ice cream in the back of the freezer, I had the problem licked.
  • I used to watch "Bewitched" growing up, but I never really ever got used to the second Darren.
  • To see if a critical point is a local max or min, we only need to analyze the slopes East and West of the point. Let’s take a trip to the West side now. Everyone please stay together! Safety in numbers!
  • You need to label your intentions so that if I or your teacher read your paper, I and the teacher being one in the same, they will know what you are doing.

1 comment:

Chris said...

My jersey for the charity faculty basketball game was e^(i*pi)+1