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The Good Thing About Math is the Part You Forget


The above title is a "math quote" from an inane website called The Elbert Swattle Admiration League. One of their discussion topics was a vast collection of "witty" aphorisms about mathematics.

Using a "simile" approach, I once tried this in a mathematics class for prospective elementary teachers. I asked them to finish the statement: MATHEMATICS IS LIKE.... And the results:

  • A rollercoaster.
  • A box of chocolates.
  • Body surfing.
  • A maze.
  • The connecting tissue of the universe.
  • Doing your hair.
  • A new cavity.
  • A reoccurring nightmare.
  • A contagious disease that everyone catches.
  • Darkness and death.
  • One of those metal balls with spikes on it, coming 60 mph at the back of your head.
  • A magic trick. If you donít know how it works, youíre awed by it but once you find out the truth it becomes nothing.
  • Getting your teeth pulled without anesthesia.
And these people are now teachers...teaching students mathematics!