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If I Taught Math Stoddard

If I Taught Math Stoddard



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Published by Christine Stoddard
A satirical monologue. Learn more about Christine and her creative endeavors at www.christinestoddard.com.
A satirical monologue. Learn more about Christine and her creative endeavors at www.christinestoddard.com.

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Published by: Christine Stoddard on Jan 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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"If I Taught Math"By Christine StoddardGood morning, class! My name is Professor Stoddard andI'll be teaching your first semester of college math at theUniversity of Expanded Knowledge, Advanced Learning,and Enrichment Studies. I possess absolutely noqualifications in this subject, but, since our country'sexperiencing a huge teacher shortage and I need someextra cash, I'm here to introduce you to the less-than-thrilling world of numbers. You know, like one, two, forty-five, a trillion, five-hundred, and a kajillion.The next witch--I mean, knowledgeable instructor--isProfessor Higgins. She's actually a qualified math teacher,which is why she'll teach your
semester. (Ofcourse, only you math and science majors will have totake the next course; you arts and humanities kids luck outand drop math altogether by Christmas). ProfessorHiggins will teach you about parabolas, integers, graphingcalculators, and a bunch of other things most of you willhate.I'll teach you about how real people with real lives--notengineers and other nerdy types--use math. You'reprobably wondering how much that really is. The truth is:not much more than a dog reads Tolstoy. If you're afraidthat I'm taking too basic of an approach to math and thatyour parents are shelling out thousands so you can review
second grade arithmetic, you're right. But my philosophy isthat you're better off filling your heads with information thatmatters to you. And I know for a fact that logarithms don'tmatter to 99% of you. All you extra-inquisitive types willresearch whatever I don't explain, and the rest of you willrely on accountants, calculators, and Wikipedia for the restof your lives.Now that I've given you that spiel, my handsome Latinassistant, Ricardo Moreno, will pass out the syllabus. He'ssporting his booty shorts for this very occasion. If he skipsover you, please be sure to spank him three times, justlike this: one, two, three! Now, let's say it all together: one,two, three! Good, we just completed our first math lesson.Remember to write this down: counting to three willappear on our first quiz, which will occur sometimebetween now and the end of the semester.Do you all have syllabi now? Excellent. Skim over thisuseless piece of paper sometime and come to me withany questions. I'll then direct you to the T.A.s who have noidea what's going on. Actually, that's our next exercise:how many T.A.s do we have? Let's count together: one,six, eleven, fifty! Just kidding. Again: one, two, three, four!Nice. A's for everybody. The T.A.s don't have names, justnumbers, so don't bother asking about that.Okay, moving on to our next several exercises, which allinvolve M&M®s. This part's a tad more complicated, so
forgive me if I'm going too fast. At the back of theclassroom, there are enough M&M® bags for all of you tohave one. Please get up now, form an orderly line, pick upa paper towel, and don't be a hog. I'll quickly know if yougrabbed more than one bag. That's the beauty of beingable to count!Does everyone have a bag now? Good. Now sit down.Stretch the paper towel out in front of you and dump out allof your M&M®s onto the paper towel. Why don't you countthem? The first one to tell me how many M&M®s you havewins a prize. I'm timing you beginning...now. You have,say, twenty minutes. I'm due for a coffee break.[Half an hour later.]Hey, folks! I'm back. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Bam!You, in the third row! How many M&M®s? Thirty-seven?Nope. Sorry. You in the fourth row? Forty-two? Naw. You,over there. Forty-four and a half! Bingo! All of you shouldhave forty-four and a half M&M®s. Please observe. I ampicking up an M&M® and splitting it in two. Now I have twohalves. One half plus one half equals one whole. Andthat's our first lesson in fractions.For the next exercise, we will briefly explore the world ofalgebra. I recognize I'm stretching you here. Just put onyour Thinking Caps and burn a hole through them withbrain steam. Let's pretend--art and English majors, I know

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