Saturday, December 25, 2004

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart

Merry Christmas to all of you out there. It is that time of year, Christmas time. A time for...forgiveness; a big old plate of turkey and sausage. It's also a time for the kids. I want you to listen to this.

So school has been going well. I can show you how well on this mathematical formula I came up with...

Two trains are travelling at 65 mph to Chicago. One from Pheonix, the other from Boston. Which...

Wait a minute. Wrong problem. But I'll take full credit for inventing that one too. I'm the infamous 'Two trains" problem guy. I also came up with the terms "widgets" and "gadgets". I'm a mathematical-problem-coming-up-with-guy and clearly a genius! I am actually teaching elementary school to get fresh ideas for my next wondrously amazing idea for a great story problem. What will I add or subtract now? Big Macs? Shoes? Beanie Babies? You just don't know. I'm that sneaky. I've delved into the adolescent psyche and found that kids like a few different things.

Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (the red-headed stepchild of Pokemon, which is on channel 18 after school every day) seem to be pretty popular, but not wholly universal. Then some kindergarteners gave me a good idea. They were playing with some toys at free choice time and were making "Transformers Energon" characters. I did some research at and found out that most of the characters that were in the original series/craze were gone. Of course Megatron of the Decepticons and Optimus Prime of the Autobots were still there, but I was sad to see the others gone. And sadly, still am.

I delved further and found out that kids love animals. It doesn't matter what kind, any kid will like any animal anywhere. I think that's how we could tame the savage beasts in the jungles of Scrippidydooville(sp?)...just send some 6 year olds in there. They would just hug them until they succumbed(sp?) to the little kids kyootness.

The next thing I found was that kids love Star Wars. Boy was I pumped to hear that! I mean, there are so many characters that I'm familiar with and have loved since I saw Return of the Jedi in '83. So I asked them who their favorite characters were and I received answers such as, Jar Jar Binks, Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, R2-D2, C-3PO, Yoda and Queen/Senator Amidala. I said that they forgot a Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, etc. Most kids had no idea who these classic characters were so I tried to explain who they were and how they fit in the Star Wars galaxy. Out of the 7 kids I tried to explain this to, 3 had a very glassed over look in their eyes, 2 walked away almost before I began, 1 wanted to play Yu-gi-oh! with me and the other fell asleep. I guess that should tell me something.

The final thing I realized that kids are fond of is drawing on themselves with markers. This didn't help in my quest.

So I thought and thought and thought and thought and came up with some great ideas for math problems...

1) If there are 10 cute animals in the jungles of Scrippidydooville and Megatron eats 3 and crushes 3 others to death with his remote triple-change tank module, how many cute animals will be left?

2) R2-D2 and C-3PO are walking through a cave. They see fifteen Yu-Gi-Oh! cards on the ground. If C-3PO picks up 9, how many will R2-D2 be able to pick up before C-3PO uses a Flamookie card and makes his snarftoodler spin uncontrollably, causing C-3PO to win the duel and R2-D2 forfit his cards?

3) You're in the jungles of Scrippidydooville. Unfortunately, so is Shockblast. How many cute animals would Shockblast be able to blast with his particle beam cannon before Inferno could rescue you (in vehicle mode, of course) as a firetruck capable of heroic and often dangerous search and rescue missions. (You could use trees in place of cute animals)

So there you have it..let me know what you think. I'm beginning to write a book with new math problems so I'd love some input. It could change the face of math as we know it. Imagine the possibilities. (The descriptions of the Transformers and their actions were found on the aforementioned website... http: Click on 'Energon' on the left and then 'Character Bios'. You'll definitely get a good laugh)

So, back to the math problem:

Let's say a + b = c. If a=recess and b=no snow pants, then c would clearly have to =Joe's total happiness.

Recess + No snow pants = Joe's total happiness

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that the real issue here is about the decline of our nation's youth. How is it that these children are growing up without the wisdom and sage advice of Luke and Han? We've got a whole generation here that would rather yu-gi-oh! each other than run down to the Toshi Station to pick up some power converters. Oh, the good old days.

You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home.

-B. McMichael