kitchen table math, the sequel: looks like University of Illinois!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

looks like University of Illinois!

Well, Joel. Your stats are very respectable. You've done some solid work, here. But it's not quite Ivy League, now, is it?


Allison said...

I can't believe it. I have a trig midterm tomorrow and I'm being chased by Guido, the killer p*mp!

Catherine Johnson said...


That line had SO much more meaning for me today!

Catherine Johnson said...

C. was so inspired by the movie that he went upstairs and wrote his second college essay immediately afterwards.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi FedUpMom -

The charisma issue is kinda fascinating to me... (and in fact charisma is a major topic in Ed's last book).

After Allison wrote her comment about comment, I was telling Ed about it, and I said, "You only want charisma in actors and politicians, and you probably don't want it in politicians, either."

Ed said, "I think it's rarely a good thing in politicians."

Charisma is a red flag -- but Ed and I both forgot that rule because this teacher is so fantastically charismatic.

I wish to HECK I'd had a camera. His Back to School Night performance absolutely needs to be on YouTube; it is brilliant.

Catherine Johnson said...


Thinking about the dating advice -- it fits.

The Back to School Night performance was mostly about the teacher, but it seemed to be about the kids. The theme was that he is a teacher-savior; he is the one person who can teach these kids calculus.

One of his points was that when his students go to college, they find college calculus easy.

The thing is, C's precalculus tutor last spring said the same thing -- but he said it in a completely non-charismatic, matter-of-fact way.

He said that his students often come back and say that their college math teaching isn't good; the teachers have accents, etc.

He didn't have a 'star teacher' narrative; he had been doing a fantastic job teaching C. (I was sitting in), we all knew it, and we were talking about courses C. should take -- and he pointed out that college teaching can be pretty bad.

Catherine Johnson said...

My kids are taking the same class this year (Alg II/Trig). Order of magnitude difference in teaching...I have one kid copy the other's notes because a logical presentation in concept notes and example problems beats random monkey see/monkey worked examples any day.

So one of the teachers has a coherent curriculum and the other doesn't?

That's my beef with Google-as-curriculum.

Speaking of Google as curriculum, I saw the single worst assignment ever the other day, I think. At least, the single worst Earth Science assignment. Dollars to donuts the teacher got it from Google.

Catherine Johnson said...

oops - I see I left comments on the wrong post