- Picture it: I'm in the middle of deriving the quadratic formula (which gives the solutions to a general quadratic equation), and the students are obviously having a lot of trouble with the abstraction, since this is supposed to cover all possible cases. (I also dropped a term or two and had to make corrections as we went, which didn't help.) In the midst of our derivation, a student asks: "Can we do another one after this one?"
- A student tells me he studied the wrong chapter for the exam. It was a chapter we hadn't studied yet. I asked, "Didn't this all seem pretty unfamiliar?" He said, "It always does..."
- Learned from tests: Three lines which meet at a point might be called (1) sedimentary, (2) a midpoint, (3) conclusive, or (4) parallel. (The last is my favorite answer.) A convent is made up of two angles with measures summing to 90 degrees. Many of my algebra students decided that the product of 6 and 9 is 15. One of my colleagues believes some of her students have trouble reading; I have no idea where she gets that idea.
- One student missed class and sent me a note with his homework from the day explaining he couldn't make it because he was in line for a Playstation 3. The note said he was going to sell the Playstation "for a large profit of which I could use for school related bills." He also let me know he was in several TV and newspaper interviews from that day, "if that helps validate my dilema" (sic). I considered taking the homework in exchange for a Playstation 3.
- Another colleague was despairing at the end of the semester because on the final he asked students to calculate how much total they would pay for a $200,000 home loan paid over 30 years at some standard interest rate. The answers ranged from $120,000 to eight million dollars. We concluded that we should quit teaching and go into the business of selling home mortgages to our students.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Amusement from Students
Here I just collect a few of the random student incidents which have amused me over the last semester: