Monday, August 4, 2008


My dear friend Shaant is a high school math teacher in NYC. He teaches "problem students," so he comes up with lots of games and creative assignments to keep them interested. Last fall he emailed me some pictures his students had drawn for homework. The assignment was to draw what you think a mathematician looks like. The drawings ranged from the cliche nerd with glasses to Mario of Nintendo Mario Brothers (that one I don't understand) to total hardcore renegade (extra points for challenging a stereotype!). Last week, after I called Shaant to lament my current feelings of irrational guilt and general meh-ness, he sent me a note saying, "feel better" accompanied by another fun homework assignment: Draw what you think a mathematician's greatest enemy would be. There were scary operation signs (i.e. plus signs, division signs, etc. with gaping jaws and angry eyes), captioned, "If every thing that he solve come back and haunt him [sic]." There was "The Student," a ripped, long-haired thug wearing a "Math Sucks @#?!" tee shirt. But my favorite was "The English Dictionary." I laughed out loud, and, indeed, I did feel better.

To any mathematicians who read my blog: What is your greatest enemy? Feel free to draw me a picture.

As a student of English, my arch nemesis is poetic meter. My inability to tell the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables has lowered many a grade on assignments to explicate poems or write sonnets.

Current song: "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," Smashing Pumpkins


The Dancing Newt said...

I made you a picture, but now what do I do???

Sad for a While said...

Is it on the computer, or is it a hard copy? If it is on the computer email it to me! I always love your drawings!

The Dancing Newt said...

This picture is not one of my best.