Unfiltered Story #32791

Unfiltered | August 1, 2017

We are learning about trigonometry, and in order to remember a particular part we have been given the acronyms SOH CAH TOA (or OSH ACH OTA, depending on which teacher taught us). A girl who sits on my table is having difficulty understanding the concept.

Girl: This is so HARD! How do I know which is the right one?

Me: You just ask yourself what you already have.

Girl: I know that! I just don’t know which one: sine, cosine or tangent. I keep looking at the acronyms, but they aren’t helping.

Me: But that’s literally what I’m saying. What do you have?

Girl: Adjacent and hypotenuse.

Me: Then it’s ACH, cosine.

Girl: *getting irate* BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW? HOW DO YOU FIND OUT?

Me: It literally tells you. You have the adjacent and hypotenuse, A and H. There’s only one acronym which has those two, and out of the three: sine, cosine and tangent, only one starts with C, cosine. So it’s cosine equals adjacent over hypotenuse.

I am pointing to the acronyms she has written as I explain.

Girl: *huffs* You really are no help! You just want me to fail! I’ll go ask the teacher, AGAIN!

She storms off leaving the table stunned.

She did manage to pass maths in the end, and for whatever reason wanted to take it at A-Level. She was genuinely upset when she couldn’t because the teacher said her GCSE grade was too low for his standard.

To be honest I think he did her a favour. My cousin did A-Level maths, and she said it was the hardest course she has even done. She showed me some of her work, and if my classmate had trouble with trigonometry, calculus probably would have finished her off.