Small bits

I have come up with the best (read, “creepiest”) possible lines to begin a course of mathematics with.

Now I just need to get into teaching and not just TA-ing.

“Mathematics is ageless.”

“I am thirty.”

“Good day, and welcome to COURSE NAME HERE.”

*

Also, “Two ways to destroy bright students that annoy you”, as developed as a part of the educator’s arsenal by me and a postgrad last week.

Way one. When that guy has done a homework question on the blackboard (this happens in university math education), look at it, frowning, and erase one symbol or number, muttering: “No no no, that’s not right.” Then write the exact same symbol or number back, and go on. Repeat every week, and watch enthusiasm fade out of his/her eyes.

Way two. Suppose our problem case, our star a little bit too bright, is called Johnny. Now, in 60% of the cases when someone else goes to the blackboard, evaluate their work by saying “Naah. Pretty good. Johnny would have do better but… well, I suppose this is the best you can do.” The resulting seating feng shui will drive Johnny insane with isolation in a few weeks.

Because while every educator or lecturerperson knows how to insult and injure the dim cases, the bright ones take a bit more work.

*

Am considering getting box set of Downton Abbey, because I hear it is a good show.

Am not in a hurry, because I have certain opinions about the sort of master-servant class society thing that’s probably in the series, and I’m not liking the idea of snapping and shouting “Revolucion! Get the posh pigs against a wall!” at half the cast.

For some reason I don’t have impulses like this when watching Game of Thrones which, oh dear, is set in a much more unenlightened epoch. Probably because while I can imagine a maid with a rifle and a red armband, there’s no obvious way for Westeros to get civilized which doesn’t take at least a few generations.

Unless, when the Wall cracks and the Others pour through, they bring not only ice swords and giant were-spiders, but a strong commitment to democracy and universal suffrage as well. “Death to you, Mother of Dragons, vile perpetratrix of the unjust and monstrous system of hereditary monarchy and unelected buffoonish aristocracy! We the blue-eyed undead Others and our ice zombies are evil only when viewed through the blind lens of unexamined classist-racist-sexist heteronormative prejudice!”

*

So there is a comedian called Louis CK; he is a scatological funny man. He also sells a couple of his stand-up performances online, drm-free; and I, being myself, returned to buy the latest and noticed I had forgotten my damn password. For the recovery of which, there was a button.

And then something unique happened.

The bit of text that usually says something bland like “Your new password has been sent to your email”; that bit read, more or less, “Oh god you are so fucking stupid. Your new password has been sent.”

I boggled, then burst into laughter.

And the new password? Well, let us say a part of it was a very uncomplimentary word.

That is loving attention to detail, I tell you. I usually don’t laugh out loud when buying stand-up.

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