Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PART 1 - White Socks
I planned to wear two layers of socks yesterday.
It was cold outside,
And two layers of socks keep a person a bit warmer than one layer.

So I put on my white polypropylene "liner socks"
And planned to put black wool socks over it, but I got distracted. The dog started puking, then the microwave beeped, and I forgot all about my second sock layer.

PART 2 - Dinner with Jon
My brother came over for dinner on Sunday
All of my brothers are incredibly intelligent
But Jon is the smartest
(Because he's the only one that doesn't make me feel stupid)

Jon and I talk about everything
And our conversations tend to wander.
One minute we're talking about pacemakers, and the next minute we're talking about the merits of frozen bananas, religion, and kittens.
(Great conversations!)

So Jon and I were talking, and sine waves came up. (Don't ask how we got to the topic of sine waves - it just happened).
Everyone knows that you can't talk about sine waves, without mentioning co-sine and tangent waves (it would just be unfair!)

PART 3 - Stupid Math Teachers
Mr. Jeeter was my 7th grade math teacher
He was a horrible teacher who gave Multiple choice tests
(Really, is there anything stupider than a multiple choice math test?)
Once, he yelled at me for dividing by zero.

Mr. Jeeter said, "You can't divide by zero"
I said, "Sure you can." If 0/5=0
Then 5/0 must = 0

(just like 6/3=2 and 6/2=3)

Mr. Jeeter just got mad.
The following year Mr. Fred got mad at me too.
And in High School, Mrs. Morrison said the same things
And sometime after that, I gave up.
Beaten into submission by the system, I robotically repeated, "You can't divide by zero" (Although, deep down inside, I secretly believed it was a communist conspiracy to brainwash high school students!)

PART 4 - Jon
Like I said, Jon is brilliant
He can quote Shakespeare, balance a chemistry equation, sing the major themes to all of Beethoven's odd numbered symphonies, make perfect pancakes,and tell dirty calculus jokes that make engineers laugh.

And when we started talking about tangent waves, he got really excited and tried to share his tangential excitement with me. He explained,"Blah blah blah, can't divide by zero blah blah blah"

At which point, I interrupted and confessed my secret belief that dividing by zero was not a cardinal sin against humanity. And Mr. Jeeter just made up the rule to confuse and frustrate me!

And Jon (the calculus genius) said that I was right!

PART 5 - The Truth
If you had a good 7th grade math teacher, you might already know this.
But if you suffered under a Mr. Jetter (or Mr. Fred, or Mrs. Morrison) here's a little secret, You can divide by zero! Except, when you do, crazy stuff starts to happen (like 5 being equal to 1). And everything you ever learned about math falls apart!

And once the math teachers realized this, they all got together and made up a "Don't divide by zero" rule, to protect themselves! (Because they didn't want to live in a world where 5=1)

PART 6 - Conclusion

It's kinda scary when you stop and think about it
One day I learn why you can't divide by zero and played crazy calculus games with Jon.
The next day I inadventantly wear black pants and white socks

(Next thing you know, I'll be sporting a pocket protector and comparing functions on graphing calculators. It's only a matter of time before I throw away my life and apply to engineering school!)