Month: November 2006

Total 8 Posts

Dimensional Analysis

I told my freshmen they could go home and tell their parents they learned “dimensional analysis” in math today. We’re just converting units — meters to miles, etc. — but it sounds awesome. Your parents’ll be impressed, I said.

In terms of math obsession, I’m somewhere in the bottom quartile of math teachers. I’m low. There are those with the posters that show how every one of the high school math standards — even DeMoivre’s theorem! — is essential to some working sector. It’s phony. You need less math nowadays than ever before.


On Spanking

I rarely lose my temper in class for the same reason I won’t spank my kids. (Full disclosure: I don’t have kids.)

For the slightly imaginative teachers/parents among us, there are endless ways to mess with kids’ heads and make them want to want what we want for them. They’re endless. There are positive reinforcers, negative punishments, negative reinforcers, positive punishments, and lots of gray in between.

Illustrative Anecdote:


Killing Bunnies

Somewhere, some twenty-year-old kid is getting whacked across the face with a baseball bat every hour on the hour. I don’t know how else to explain the serious karmic imbalance of the last couple of days.