Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Time For Everything

I turned over a new leaf this morning, not intentionally, though: I missed my first Math Club meeting as its sponsor/co-sponsor. In the nine years that I have been the faculty member of record for the club, I have never missed a meeting. These included "wild" toga parties at 7:30 in the evening, "crazy" white elephant gift exchanges late in the evening, a meeting a a student's house WAY out in the boonies (although late, I DID make it), and several early morning 6:30 am meetings here on campus. I must have attended at least a hundred meetings in succession, but the streak ends today.

I think my work is finally catching up with me. Having come in a bit early today (5:30am), my wife agreed to fill in for me today in my role of dropping off my kids at her mom's. I thought I'd have plenty of quiet time to catch up, but I'm usually wrong on these things, as an overly-inquisitive student, with nothing more to do that meander around my room and ask me non-mathematical, non-educational, nonsensical questions in a tiny voice. I must have answered, "The math club meeting starts at 6:30 this morning" 5 times . . . . . . per minute!

All this is going on while I'm trying to fine tune my Algebra II show that I have to film today after school. It's the big Halloween episode, a real audience pleaser, if you consider two viewers and audience. Today I'm dressing as a pirate, and doing the entire show in character, including the voice. I was scrambling this morning for some funny (clean) pirate expressions, jokes, names, etc. while frantically searching for an appropriate pirate-themed background for my green-screen shot.

Checking my email, I see a message from a former student with a subject of "mathematical emergency," he knew how to get my attention. I've been preparing my whole life to handle something like this. I opened up the email to discover that he has a major project due today and has no idea how to start.
Either he was as busy as I was, or he was a prodigious procrastinator. Nonetheless, I decided to drop everything and help--for the sake of the problem and my peace of mind, not the student's. Anyway, his project was a giant word problem he had to read, extract the relevant information, solve the problem at hand, and write a solution in mathematical and layman's terms. My interest was piqued.

After brooding over the problem, I had the insight, and the solution, which involved calculus and optimization, flowed easily from there. As I scanned in a very partial solution, a hint if you will, to send to the student, I found myself muttering without realizing it, "the math club meeting starts this morning at 6:30am." I sent the hint to the student and got back to my pirate affairs.

As of now, it's almost 7:00 and the math club meeting is happening as I type . . . . . . . . . in fact a student from the meeting just came in form some math help, so I guess it is over.

Oh well, there's always next month's meeting, which "will begin at 6:30am."


Anonymous said...

Did you really miss the meeting? You must have a lot on your mind.

kwkorpi said...

Yes, I missed the meeting, but I really, really didn't miss it all that much.

Anonymous said...

You didn't miss much. It seemed unplanned and a bit boring.

Brenda said...

Ha! Korpi missed a meeting. I know how you feel. School is overwhelming me a bit - I've never experienced so much pressure before. Is this college? All the time?

If you think about it in the big picture, your missed meeting is just a tiny little dot. No big deal. My chemistry exam on Friday, however, is a big fat splat on the picture.

Dmac said...

All this is going on while I'm trying to fine tune my Algebra II show that I have to film today after school. It's the big Halloween episode, a real audience pleaser, if you consider two viewers an audience.

Kevin- forget Nielson ratings, The MacRoberts household consistently doubles your viewership to at least six. Before you know it, you will be pressuring prime time cable slots such as " The Steamed Rice Show" and Wenzel's " Get your Booty in Djibouti"
Seriously- thank you for all you do for the community(& future Macs in your class.)- now listen to your wife Danielson- balance is important too.

On a side note, I was broached by an assuming man this summer near the community pool. He noticed my Math Club shirt and with what I considered a backhanded compliment, asked if the shirt helped me meet meet the ladies. I promised him that it was much more effective than his Star Trek convention shirt he wears to Schlitterbahn.

Anonymous said...

Hi dmac,

How are things at AH??? We miss you.

Brenda -- yearbooks are here. Tell Amy.

Anonymous said...

Love, Tate!!