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Comments from this Week

Thu, 25 Jan 2024, 09:26 PM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

1. Kitty’s Retest

Kitty stayed after school. She had not done well on Tuesday’s test, and she was taking it again for extra points. When she was finished, she closed her laptop and stood up. We made eye contact.

“Can I see how I did?” she asked.

These tests get automatically graded. So I opened my laptop and scrolled down to her name.

“You got a 100.”

She was relieved.

“I guess I should have done the review before I took it the first time.”

Yes, there is that.

2. Peter’s Insight

Peter stayed after school so that he could work on today’s worksheet while I was in the room. He picks things up quickly, and he only had a few questions. When he was finished, he turned his work into the purple box. Then he turned to me and asked about retaking the test, as Kitty just had done.

“What days are you here after school?” he asked.

“Every day,” I said.

“Every day. I see.” He paused for a moment and then asked (in a sympathetic tone), “Mr. Hasan, do you get to have a life outside teaching?”

The fair and industrious Trudy wants to know if I tell them my wife wonders likewise.

3. Erica’s Question

Once a week I pull my better students into my room for 30 minutes of “enrichment.” We’ve done this a few times, and although I started out with great hopes, their reactions have been underwhelming. I should have expected this, of course, since there are no grades associated with this time, and so most of the kids couldn’t care less.

On this day, the kids were rotating squares to investigate rotational symmetries, although I did not say that. I asked questions. They answered. I drew pictures on the board. Some of them dutifully drew the pictures on the papers that they were manipulating. And by the end of class we had a Cayley table for the C4 cyclic group, although I definitely did not tell them that.

We finished about 10 minutes early, and they instantly buried their noses in their phones. Then from the back of the room Erica asked a question.

“Mr. Hasan, what do you call that, what we just did?”

I smiled. 

“Group theory,” I said. 

Next week: Dihedral groups.

4. Jenny’s Eyes

Jenny finished the worksheet we were working on in class. But she had one remaining question. I walked over to where she and Jasmin had been working together, and we talked about her question.

Jenny just recently dyed her hair a reddish-maroon color. More red than maroon, but somewhere in-between, and fairly striking. She also had a strikingly bloodshot left eye. I kneeled down next to her.

“Jenny. Your red hair matches your eyes. What happened?”

“Mister,” she said. “It was from the glue for my eyelashes.”

“The glue!? Does it hurt?”

“Both eyes, Mister. It hurts.”

And then so did mine.

5. Annie’s Artwork

Annie is an artist. She’s quite good. She sketched a picture of me the other day. Evidently this is what Annie’s math teacher looks like by sixth period.

Annie's sketch

Do I look tired? Ask a teacher. 

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License