Sunday, May 27, 2007

Letters to my mathematics class, volume one

Dear class

OK, so you’re in shock, because this is what we call a “letter”… a special form of written communication. I doubt you’ll be familiar with it, but hang in there. It’s just like a text… though u have 2 cope with proper English, which I accept might not be gr8 fun 4 u.

So, you’re wondering how to improve in mathematics, eh? Well, OK, you’re not, but all the same, there are a few simple things you could do that might transform your mathematical ability. It’s not rocket science (that’s upstairs with Mrs McGinty in Physics – don’t forget your fire extinguisher, cos she’s getting on a bit), so why not give it a try.

First up, the equipment. Yes, that’s right Johnny, there are things that you are expected to have with you in your mathematics class. But don’t worry, I’ll explain them as we go along.

Item number one: the pencil

We use these to write with, for the most part, though a good chew on the end of your pencil can keep you going ‘til lunchtime if you’re getting peckish. You’ll have seen pencils before, because I’m forever bloody lending you one, but you know what? You can actually buy these from things called “shops”. They’re not expensive, though granted once your parents have forked out for a new X-box/mobile phone/Wii/pair of trainers, I can appreciate that there’s not much cash left for the non-essentials in life. Maybe you could ask your lawyer, sorry, Guidance teacher if you qualify for financial assistance. Or maybe you can just nick one off Nigel, like everyone else does (but get there early, for much as Nigel wishes his pencil case had TARDIS-like qualities, it doesn’t). But either way, get something to write with, specifically a pencil. Let’s face it, you’re going to make mistakes. So no pens, please. Specifically, no yellow, red, lime-green, scented, glitter dusted, honey-smoked, cinnamon flavoured pens, gel or otherwise.

Now I know what you’re thinking: why can’t you just borrow one from me, like you do all the fecking time? Well, it turns out there’s a limit to the number of wee pencils that your teacher’s allowed to steal from IKEA – who’d have thought it? – and with council cutbacks being what they are, it also turns out we have no money to buy them in ourselves. Yes, we do have funds to buy interactive whiteboards, but not pencils. Go figure.

I’ll sign off now, as I need to lie down, but don’t worry, I’ll write again soon, this time to tell you about the exciting technology we’re calling a “ruler”.


beans said...

I best be careful what I write here! I was going to say that the clicky type pencils are always useful, and if they're not affordable, then try getting a pencil with a rubber on it. (Since rubbers are easy to displace.)

Having enjoyed Ian Stewart's book, I look forward to reading your volumes. :D

maths teacher said...

Hmm... clicky pencils can be thin on the ground with this lot, but that's a nice suggestion. In particular, it would stop wee Johnny coming out to the front every five minutes to sharpen his pencil - leaving a trail of sharpenings anywhere but the bin!