Last Tuesday, I was looking through several old books that my mother was considering donating to the library for their book sale. I had already selected several interesting books to keep when my dad held up one old dusty blue book and told me that it was definitely a book that I needed to have. The title of the book was College Algebra.
Algebra and I have a mutual agreement which we forged upon my graduating from college. Algebra would discontinue molesting my mind if I would never again open an algebra book. Unfortunately, I broke that agreement when my dad presented me with that book, and my curiosity caused me to open the book which was written in 1938. Little did I realize that the old algebra book would eventually have its revenge for my breaking the agreement.
As I looked through that old algebra book, I related to my parents a recent incident that I had encountered with algebra. A few weeks ago, I was confronted with the following question from a student who was asking me for help: "Old McDonald raises ducks and cows. The animals have a total of 32 heads and 72 feet. How many ducks and how many cows does Mr. McDonald have?" I told the student that the obvious solution to the question would be to visit Mr. McDonald’s farm and count the cows and ducks or send Mr. McDonald an email and ask him.
The old dusty algebra book also reminded me of an incident that occurred last year in my science class. First, I’ll have to admit that, for various reasons, I actually keep an algebra book in my classroom. One day a student asked me what was inside a locker that I keep chemicals locked up in. I replied that there were things in the locker which were hazardous to students. After a short pause, the student asked me why I didn’t have the algebra book locked in the locker. Without hesitation, I emphatically replied, "Excellent idea!" I then locked the algebra book in the locker.
After visiting with my parents a bit more, I gathered my sack of old books along with the algebra book and returned home. The next day, I took the algebra book to school with the intention of showing it to the algebra teacher who is across the hall from me. As I was showing her the book at the end of the day, a student walked by and asked me about the book. I told her that it was an algebra book from 1938. She immediately asked me, "Oh, is that one of your old college books?" Wow! Sure enough, the algebra book had struck again!
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TOP TEN NAMES STUDENTS CALL ME
by YENDOR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
10. He who stays long in lunch line.
9. He with large video collection.
8. He who is happy on Friday.
7. He who sits behind big desk.
6. He with many pens.
5. He who takes much medication.
4. He who walks funny after lunch.
3. He with big rolling chair.
2. He who laughs much after drinking from thermos.
1. He who shall retire this year and doesn't care who dies.
by Margaret Woodall (email@example.com)
He hit me, he kicked me,
She got out of line.
He punched me, he butted me,
That yellow pencil's mine.
They were playing in the bathroom,
She was running down the hall.
He called me a nasty name,
They were writing on the wall.
Who me? Oh,no.
I was standing here being good.
I was listening to the teacher,
Just like I know I should.
I might have accidentally
Bumped him on the wall.
And maybe that yellow pencil
Isn't mine at all.
Just one more chance dear teacher,
I know I can do better.
Just one more chance dear teacher.
Don't write my mom a letter!
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