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Complex Conjugate Roots

Timothy sits in the front row. He is a good student. On days when he wears his glasses, he looks doubly studious. He had his glasses on.

It was a practice day. I had assigned some very involved complex conjugate root problems the night before, but I had assured them that today would be a practice day for them to ask me questions and to work on the problems with me nearby. I had finished my reteaching. I had worked one of the problems as another example. And the kids were now working on the rest — some in groups, some by themselves.

Timothy usually works on his own, although I’ve seen him comparing notes with the students that sit nearby. He was working on the hardest problem, head bent over his paper, glasses close to the desk. The problem was a doosie.

All of the sudden he looked at the board and said, “Ooooh this isn’t so hard, after all.”