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Topic: relax gary
Replies: 16   Last Post: Jun 8, 1995 1:13 AM

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Posts: 67
Registered: 12/6/04
relax gary
Posted: Jun 1, 1995 1:26 AM
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Gary recently chastised me with:

>Yo Harv! Anyone home?

>Gary Martin (that's me!) wrote the message to which you refer, not Steve
>Means. And this "girl" is 30 years old. (Note my mention of her taking the
>course at the university.) She is a model student -- highly motivated,
>takes copious notes in class, does all her homework. I'm sure she eats her
>breakfast every morning and gets plenty of sleep, so I doubt if she was
>dozing in class. I bet she even knows how to follow directions! Plus she
>even makes an effort to understand what she does, not JUST follow
>directions. All evidence suggests that it was NOT her lack of alertness but
>a lack of motivation on the part of the text and instructor.

>This is NOT an isolated problem. How many geometry texts have a whole
>section on identifying angles of parallel lines (i.e., which are
>corresponding angles)? And then only in the next section is the USE of
>these angles mentioned? Almost all, Harv. Who cares about corresponding
>angles? They're useless in and of themselves! It's only when you see what
>they can tell you about lines that they are of any interest. This "put the
>definition before them first" attitude is deadly and stultifying and...

>Still awake, Harv? I mean, I know it's late on the east coast and all but
>really now, you could have read my message...

>Gary Martin

>PS: Try to keep up now, Harv. But if her trig course were on another
>planet, it would probably be VENUS not MARS! (Did you send me that straight
>line on purpose?


Well Gary....I guess you told! Other than pointing out the small
harmless error of my stating that Gary Means (and not YOU) wrote the story of
the lady who thought her trig homework was meaningless, the rest of your
arrogant response was uncalled for. Your taunts of "Yo Harv...Still awake?"
and "Try to keep up now" etc were rude and immature and out of place on a
list such as this. Perhaps you might consider thinking prior to writing in
the future?

1) The girl/lady/female you describe was never given an age in your story.
We have young teen agers who go to the college from our high school during
the afternoon to take Trig or Calculus. These kids are 18 years old so it
was NOT rediculous of me to think that possibly your college student was
under 20 and not 30 as you NOW tell us. Your condescending attitude about
this petty point might have best been kept to yourself.

2) The information in your paragraph where you describe this young lady as
being highly motivated, takes copious notes, gets plenty of sleep, etc. etc.
etc....was NOT included in your original post so my WONDERING if she was
paying attention in class was certainly NOT an outrageous GUESS as I stated
in my post (believe it or not Gary....students OFTEN don't pay attention in
class and then blame the teacher for not teaching!).....You state that ALL
evidence suggests that it was not her lack of alertness, but a lack of
motivation on the part of the text and instructor. Perhaps you could have
included that evidence in your previous post if you are so bothered that
someone might WONDER about this student's lack of motivation. I also feel
you are quite bold to pin the blame on the text and the easy
thing to do these days....especially with no equal time for that instructor
to give his/her side of the story.

3) I really wonder about the rage I sense from your mean spirited post. You
write like I attacked the very fiber of your pedagogy. You claim that "This
put the definition before them first" attitude is "deadly" and "stultifying".
Am I missing something here? I spoke with 10 colleagues today at school and
every single one of them claimed that they like to hear the definition of
something prior to being expected to deal with it. "Deadly"?
"Stultifying"? Aren't you over reacting a bit here? Your "who cares
about corresponding angles" attitude is also out of place in my opinion. I
won't argue with you about the fact that in and of themselves they are pretty
dull, but is it so god awful "deadly" that we define them before we show the
kids the neat stuff associated with them? I think not. Many kids like to
know first what they are dealing with AND THEN deal with's not
such an outrageous concept! Let me give you an interesting statement about
Gromps: If 2 peristracular gromps are aligned in semiamulated fasion, then
the gromps are supplefragtory. Pretty interesting? I doubt it! This won't
become interesting until I define a few things for you..............right?

4) Gary....if this lady was such a super student as you suggest in your
recent post....can you tell me why she had to come to you for help to find
the ratios of the sides (the lengths of which WERE GIVEN)? Does this not
simply entail division of numbers? Perhaps my utter stupidity (Yo
Harv...anyone home?) is keeping me from understanding why a precalculus
student would be having trouble with basic division of numbers. I hope that
my merely questioning this ladies ability won't evoke another hostile retort
from you. Perhaps this time you can simply answer the question (so even I
can understand).

Sorry for my frustrated tone....but your condescending post did irritate me

Harvey Becker

PS I do apologize to Steve Means for mistakenly attributing the story about
the trig student to him.

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