Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Interacting with normals 

I took my car in to the tire shop for its 5000 mile tire rotation (the shop promised to do it for free, but I hadn't realized that they would also do a half-assed job of it). Anyway, while waiting the obscenely long amount of time for them to do it (and I'm not talking about the time waiting for them to get an open lift, I'm talking about the time that it spent on the lift: Hell, I could have done it quicker with a jack and a lugwrench), I ended up having another couple that was waiting start a conversation with me while I was doing some work on my algebra syllabus. "I'm not disturbing you," the woman asked. "No," I lied. They wanted to know how long it took me to learn computers (I have no idea what that means. I've been playing with computers since I was, oh, 11 or 12, so I could argue that I've been doing it for a quarter century (and still no visible progress)). I pointed out at the moment that my computer was little more than a typewriter. They wanted to know whether it was harder to "learn computers" on a laptop. I'm just happy they didn't ask me what I did for a living. I know that I would have been regaled with tales of their mathematical ignorance had I been asked (and answered honestly).

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