>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...
>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 me....wow! 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 instructor....an 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 them....it'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 ......
PS I do apologize to Steve Means for mistakenly attributing the story about the trig student to him.