Math Can Be A Slippery Slope

| USA | Learning | June 5, 2013

(I’m in math class. The students are a bit rowdy and not focusing on the lesson as they should be.)

Teacher: “You guys need to pay attention to this stuff. One day, knowing Calculus could save your life.”

Student: “Really? Give one example of how Calculus could save our lives in the real world.”

Teacher: “Okay, how about this scenario? Say you are walking down the street one day, hand in hand with your significant other. Suddenly, a man jumps out from the shadows brandishing a knife. With a wild look in his eyes, he screams, ‘You better know what the second derivative of x^3 + 2x^2 + 4x + 8 is, or I’m going to poke you full of more holes than a spaghetti colander!'”

Student: “That’s ridiculous. Like that is ever going to happen in the real world.”

Teacher: “Son, let me assure you… if there are any jobs in the world likely to cause a psychotic break, high school math teacher is at the top of that list.”

(The students spent the rest of the day focused on their lessons.)

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