Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ode to a Math Teacher

This post is a result of a cocktail of influences, consisting of one part my husband's third attempt at calculus, one part some funky drugs that are playing with my head (actual recovery instruction: "Don't make any major decisions today"), and one part my flurried re-reading of all the Discworld books involving the Ankh-Morpork Watch, particularly the one I'm finishing right this minute (much to my chagrin), Jingo. They're the only books I currently have unpacked that contain anything even vaguely resembling American police procedure. I kid you not. Sure, I'll go find something more realistic at the library when I can walk again. Meanwhile, I'm having fun, so just you bu-- go 'way and leave Sam and me alone, there's a good blog audience.

My dad clipped me this from the Good Clean Funnies but didn't mention the source until the end. Since he's always sending me news articles he finds as part of his job (what a gig, eh?), it took me a couple seconds to catch on, and when I did, the laugh was all the heartier for it. OK, really I only laughed at the first paragraph. (Dang, what did they give me, sodium pentethol? Sheesh!)

AT NEW YORK's Kennedy airport today, an individual - later discovered to be a public school teacher - was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a slide rule, and a calculator. At a morning press conference, the U. S. Attorney General disclosed that he believes the man to be a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," he declared. "They seek average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns,' but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to argue, there are three sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, the President stated,"If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes. I am gratified that our government has shown us a sine that it is intent on protracting us from these math-dogs, who are willing to disintegrate us with calculus disregard. Murky statisticians love to inflict plane on every sphere of influence. Under the circumferences, we must differentiate their root, make our point, and draw the line."

The President warned, "These weapons of math instruction have the potential to decimal everything in their math on a scalene never before seen, unless we become exponents of a Higher Power and begin to factor in random facts of vertex."

The Attorney General concluded, "As our Great Leader would say, read my ellipse. Here is one principle he is uncertain of: though they continue to multiply, their days are numbered as the hypoteneuse tightens."

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