Thursday, May 24, 2007

pearls before swine

I proctored a two hour exam today. It was immensely boring. For two hours, I had to watch students take a test. Out of the 60 students, 18 were wearing Converse All-Stars. A year ago at this time, the same students were in ninth grade, which meant that probably 58 of them had 'Chucks'. Their individuality is really beginning to show itself. Out of the 60 students, 30 of them were girls. I calculated the probability of exactly 30 girls out of 60 students to be 60C30*(.5)^60, and spent the rest of the test trying to estimate that number.

After the exam, I had a class. My morning class has been making polyhedra. One student completed a truncated icosahedron (soccer ball) just this morning. They keep them on shelves, and I can't always lock the room because I share the classroom. Anyway, today when I came to my afternoon class, I noticed that the paper model had crushed by some knucklehead. Another mostly finished model was also smashed.

I feel so bad. Two girls will probably be crying tomorrow, thinking they have enemies, thinking about all of the time and effort it took to make something nice, and some mean little boy with no soul will have already forgotten the savage pleasure of doing it.

It breaks my heart every time that happens. I have a similar paper model that has been broken by students several times. [Similar to the other paper models, I mean, not similar to my heart, and not mathematically similar, just sort of... also a paper model of a polyhedron.] A window was broken once. They scribbled on my neat fractal drawings. It is such a discouraging thing to make something nice and put it in your classroom to give the place some atmoshpere and have some cowardly little imp come and wreck it. Things like that make me hate teaching. Swine.

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