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Topic: Buffett's new song flunks
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Buffett's new song flunks
Posted: May 19, 1999 7:26 PM
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[Note: Recording artist Jimmy Buffett released a song titled "Math Suks"
on his new album. In light of this, NCTM has issued a statement to
Buffett's recording studio (see below). This statement has also been
released to entertainment and news media organizations throughout the
country. It will also be posted on the NCTM website. The lyrics to the song
follow the article below. The article came out in today's USA Today in
response to a statement released by NCTM.

USA Today, First Edition, Wednesday, May 19, 1999. p. 2D

Math teachers flunk Buffett tune

By Ann Oldenburg

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is not happy about
Jimmy Buffett's new song, Math Suks, found on his
just-released Beach House on the Moon album.

"It's a very, very negative song," Michigan State University
professor and council president Glenda Lappan says. "It ends
with 13 'math sucks' in a row."

Adds Lappan: "This is a great disappointment. I'm a serious Jimmy
Buffett fan. I have tapes in my car."

The Reston, Va.-based council issued a statement condemning the
tune, saying: "In a world dominated by technology and computer-driven
devices, today's students need to be inspired more than ever to
learn and understand mathematics."

Lappan says, "In our culture, we tend to look for excuses for
why it's OK not to apply ourselves in learning mathematics."

In 1992, the council and other groups protested a talking teen
Barbie that uttered the phrase "Math class is tough," prompting
Mattel to offer offended buyers a mute one in exchange.

What does the council expect Buffett to do?

It will ask him that, "as a recording artist and icon, he say
some things that would put a more positive spin on mathematics
for kids," Lappan says. The council is on another mission, she
says, "to warn the world that no, it's not funny. This is very

Buffett was not immediately available to comment.

GRAPHIC: Buffett: His 'Math Suks' lacks a 'positive spin,' teachers say.

Copyright 1999 Gannett Company, Inc. USA TODAY


Math Suks

If necessity is the mother of invention
Then I'd like to kill the guy who invented this
The numbers come together in some kind of a third dimension
A regular algebraic bliss.

Let's start with something simple, like one and one ain't three
Any two plus two will never get you five.
There are fractions in my subtraction and x don't equal y
But my homework is bound to multiply.

Math suks math suks
I'd like to burn this textbook, I hate this stuff so much.
Math suks math suks
Sometimes I think that I don't know that much
But math suks.

I got so bored with my homework, I turned on the TV.
The beauty contest winners were all smiling through their teeth.
Then they asked the new Miss America
Hey babe can you add up all those bucks?
She looked puzzled, then just said "Math Suks".

Math suks math suks
You don't even have to spell it,
All you have to do is yell it ...
Math suks math suks
Sometime times I think that I don't know that much
But math suks.

Geometry, trigonometry and if that don't tax your brain
There are numbers to big to be named
Numerical precision is a science with a mission
And I think it's gonna drive me insane.

Parents fighting with their children, and the Congress can't agree
Teachers and their students are all jousting constantly.
Management and labor keep rattling old sabers
Quacking like those Peabody ducks.

Math suks math suks
You don't even have to spell it,
All you have to do is yell it ...
Math suks math suks
Sometime times I think

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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