Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Conversation with Elizabeth's students

We've been having trouble with our furnace lately. The furnace repair guy has been swapping parts out for over a month to no avail. Today he called to say that he and the factory are out of ideas; the whole furnace goes. He would swap out our furnace for the identical model at no cost or would allow us to upgrade to a 10% more efficient furnace for $830.

I walked over to talk to Elizabeth at lunch about the merits of upgrading. While we were crunching the numbers on the whiteboard, her students for the next class began to filter in and both of our mobile phones began ringing in alternation. Because we were trying to finish up our computations before the next class began, we didn't answer our phones.

Once we'd finished, I headed back to work and Elizabeth turned to her students and exclaimed, "See what you have to look forward to in life?!?"

The exuberant eighth grade boys expectantly responded, "Cell phones?"

"No," she said, "Math. Lots and lots of math."

"Oh, that," they said, with a noticeable dip in zest.

I'm afraid that I have the same reaction to lots and lots of math just like the students. I guess I better change my attitude soon though!
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