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I asked a friend yesterday what I should write about, and she said “paranoid schizophrenia”.     I think she had some suspicion what I would do with this sort of instruction, so if you take offense… blame J–.   I know the strangest people.     It’s quite awesome, really.

Paranoid Schizophrenia vs. Study of Mathematics

The study of mathematics is a mental process that is marked by visualization of unreal systems, feelings of of persecution from instructors and textbook writers,  spending obsessive amounts of time analyzing bizarre systems, and anxiety.   Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can cause auditory or visual hallucinations, delusions, paranoia,  bizarre thought patterns, and disorganized speech and anxiety.

Trying to understand either what a math textbook or a schizophrenic may be telling you is frequently an exercise in futility, unless you have some greater context with which to try to make sense of it.   Even so, the internal logic of a mathematician may break down and you may find them staring blindly into space for a long time.    Bouts of depression are common.

The treatment of schizophrenia is often at institutions which are in danger of defunding.

Ahem… (do I even need to say it?)

Fortunately, the outlook and prognosis for both mathematicians and schizophrenics is depends largely on their social support  network.   With adequate socialization (and sometimes medication), mathematicians can be integrated into the workplace and will lead healthy, productive lives.    Schizophrenic also enjoy this outlook, although the role of medication is somewhat more important.

While schizophrenia and the study of mathematics are often misunderstood, feared and frequently avoided, both will benefit from greater social acceptance and support.

 

Disclaimer

 This is satire.   In reality schizophrenia is a disorder that affects about 1% of the population.   People with schizophrenia can live active and healthy lives with treatment, and treatment for this illness has come a long way in the last few decades.   Untreated, this is a scary disease… both to its sufferers and to their loved ones.   Mental illness is stigmatized to a terrible degree.   Having a mental illness is no more shameful than having blue eyes or red hair… it is the result of biological processes.  But like many uncontrolled biological processes, many people seem to have an unreasoning fear, and discomfort around the subject.

 

My opinion, as with a lot of social issues, is to educate yourself.   Schizophrenic people are people, deserving of dignity and respect.   Whereas the study of mathematics is more of a choice, and for many folks just as scary and offputting.

One of the things that I have to deal with is students who have a hard time taking tests.   Now I know that there is a lot of hullabaloo about “teaching to the test”, but there is also a clear need to teach people how to take tests.

I teach future doctors, nurses, and law enforcement people.   Do you want these people to fall apart during pressure?

Smilodon TestsRealistically, everyone faces situations when they get flustered and can’t cope from time to time.    There can be many reasons why a person has a stressful reaction, but it all comes down to brain chemistry.    We all have an amygdala, that little piece of our brain that we evolved to survive living alongside Smilodon… and our amygdala are responsible for governing our stress response.   Fight, flight, freeze and appease:  our innate defenses in times of life-threatening stress.

Unfortunately, the amygdala cannot differentiate between saber-toothed-tigers and math tests.

So here is what you can do before a (known) stressful event (e.g. your math test):

  • Overprepare.    While reviewing material is a good idea, if you are anxious about a test it can be useful to give yourself extra time to polish your skills (and build your confidence).
  • Give yourself triggers.  Memory is a funny thing.  Often we will unintentionally link stimulus with certain skills or memories.   You can do this with a scent, or a physical trigger like tapping your hand.  I had one student who literally had a thinking… thong.   He told us about it.   It was endearing, and a little awkward.
  • Reframe the event.  If you are the kind of person to work yourself up before a test, then see if you can change the context for yourself.   If the word “test” freaks you out, see if “quiz”, “assessment”, or “exercise” is better.
  • Take care of your body.    Mind and body are not separate, and abusing your body will play out in poorer brain function and more dramatic stress reactions.   Which means you should eat healthy, and sleep regularly.

 

Here is what you can do during your test:

  • Feel it, then act (not react).   There is nothing you can do to prevent a stress reaction once it has started.   But if you can recognize the fact and have a plan in place, you can think rather than just flail destructively.
  • BREATHE.   One thing that happens in all stress reactions is people will hold their breath, or breathe very shallowly.   So take a few deep, regular breaths.   It allows your body to relax and get past its stress reaction.
  • Affirm yourself.    Remind yourself there are no saber-tooth-tigers in the room.   Also tell yourself that you are going to ace the hell out of this test.   Tell yourself you are both too stubborn and sexy to fail.
  • Use your memory triggers.   Now is the time to chew that special gum, tap your hand, or remind yourself that you are wearing your thinking thong.

 

Whether we always recognize it or not, our brains are just like the rest of our bodies.   Tools that we can use to do what we want them to do.   But you will need to train them.    Just like it takes practice to learn how to run a marathon, it also takes practice to put ourselves in stressful (but necessary) situations.

And for my students who just survived your first test:   smile.   You were not killed by a mathematical Smilodon.

Live to study another day.

“I just happen to like apples, and I’m not afraid of snakes.”  – Ani DiFranco

One thing that I’ve never understood is the desire to remain ignorant.

The notion of information or knowledge being dangerous just seems laughable to me.    You are not actually hurt by an idea.   You may have to wrap your head around new thoughts, you may need to revise your viewpoint of the world.   But the ultimate notion of learning things that are “forbidden” is foreign to me.   All you are doing is giving yourself a broader, more nuanced view of the world.

The worst thing that knowledge can do to you is make you uncomfortable.

Some ideas are at odds with each other.   This is the source of discomfort for many people.   This is because some ideas inherently have more merit than others… and of course some ideas may seem at odds with each other but may be unrelated and exclusive.     People also live with differing levels of cognitive dissonance every day:  if you ask a parent who doesn’t vaccinate their children why not, they will likely tell you that they don’t want their children to get sick.   (Irony, anyone?)

It is also okay if people know more than you.   Trying to convince someone that you know about something you don’t isn’t going to make you look better in the long run.   All it will do is make you seem insecure.    I love finding people who know more than I do.   It is so much fun to explore new ideas and to learn something outside my experience.

Here is the kicker for me:   some people do not want you to seek out other ideas.   The reason for this is that they may not feel secure in their own ideas, and need to try to foster their own faulty (although often comforting) ideas in an atmosphere of ignorance.   ANYONE who tries to control who you talk to, what you read, or what to think is trying to control you for their own sakes.   Any person or organization who cuts off discussion like this is controlling at best, and maliciously abusive at worst.     I have literally lost family members because of this kind of abuse, and I find it abhorrent.

This is part of why I teach.

I want people to be able to explore ideas freely.

I want people to be able to think for themselves, and make up their minds independently.

I want people to value knowledge over ignorance.

 

 

Okay, just to warn you, I’m going to get a little rant out of my system:

 

</begin RANT>

Stupid should hurtOne thing that really pisses me off is when people deliberately cloak themselves in ignorance.    The notion of “what I don’t know won’t hurt me” is probably something that was popular on Easter Island.    Denying information doesn’t change it.   All it does is move you from the category of naive to stupid.   At best it is intellectually dishonest.

Now I don’t have anything against faith.   We all have unjustified beliefs about one thing or another.   But here are my criteria:   belief in something without proof is faith, belief in something with proof is knowledge, and belief in something in contradiction to proof is stupidity.

I got MAJORLY pissed off at the supreme court Hobby Lobby decision last week.   They elevated one groups religious opinions over scientific facts, and let the religious  belief trump the rights of others.   I feel like we have our Plessy vs Ferguson court decision for our generation.

Know any nice, liberal countries in need of a kick-ass math professor?   I’m starting to shop.

</end RANT>

 

Be well, everyone.

And remember to use your powers for whatever you want to.   They’re your powers!

There is something funny about a “Summer Break”.   Often times, I find myself just as solidly booked as during the school term  as I try to catch up with friends and family.   And there is also the added fun of unpaid overtime as we get to prep our courses for the next quarter.   In any case, we’re back.

Now, for a completely random segment let us have your teaching horoscope!

 Aries (March 21 – April 20)

You are plagued by a feeling that you are missing something, like you were supposed to be in class for the entire term, but somehow you didn’t put it on your schedule.      I’m not saying that feeling is true or not, but I think you will want to check.   Check again, you may have missed something.

After that, check to see if you are wearing pants.

Taurus  (April 21 – May 21)

A student is going to approach you in absolute despair about their grade.   They will be young, cute and they think that because of this they deserve a better grade.   While this desperate flirting may help boost your ego in the short-term, you will be racked with guilt later.   Instead it is better to look deep into their eyes and ask, “you’ll do anything to get a better grade?”  When they agree, tell them to study more.   Laughing hysterically is optional, but also fun.

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

I know you’ve heard a lot of creative excuses, but brace yourself for a wave of really bizarre reasons for not attending.    You can expect stories of alien abduction, burrowing botfly larvae, or stalking by a murderous ex.

Interestingly enough, one of these stories will be true.

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)

Well I’ve got good news and bad news, Cancer.    The good news is that you classes are going to go fairly smoothly.    Your student drama will be on the low side, and the administrative drama seems to be subsiding from the last few quarters.     The downside is that the rest of your life may decide to melt down.   Family matters will leave you squirming uncomfortably, and you may want to check and see if your supplemental insurance premiums are paid up.

Leo (July 23- August 22)

This is a good time to plan, not for action.   So procrastinate a bit, and start fleshing out your plans for world domination.   Or at least plan on taking over the school.    Figure out your game plan to bribe or blackmail the board of regents, simultaneous with a takeover of the teacher’s union.     Then repeat at the state, federal, and global levels.   Now is also a good time for romance.  Consider dating a Virgo:  they have a lot of passion pent-up, so it will be a little like seducing a suitcase bomb.

Virgo (August 23 – September 23)

You will start out the term filled with a sense of invincibility, which will be crushed mid-term by banal stupidity.    You have several different sources of solace.   The easiest route is simply breaking down publicly, so consider bursting into tears at random intervals.   Locking yourself in the bathroom will also garner you some extra attention.

If this strikes you as too passive, then set out a plan for vengeance instead.     Hostages may be necessary.

Libra (September 24-October 23)

Due to a lack of interest,  Libra’s horoscopes have been cancelled.   You may want to consider moving your birthday to sometime more interesting.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 22)

We should have warned you earlier, Scorpio, that this was coming.   During a series of endless meetings you will snap.   After having lost your grasp of reality, your own personal demons will take control of your consciousness.   On the other hand, you can play this fairly close to the chest and no one will know the difference.

Now is the time to foster a new secret identity.

Sagittarius (November 23 – December 21)

The volume of events may get turned up to eleven during the next term, so now would be an excellent time to start writing a memoir.     Or you may want to contact Jerry Springer to try and score some extra cash off of the crazy quarter you have coming to you.

Heavy drinking may seem like a good option, but in the long run it will be more fun to get a substitute for a few days and take an impromptu vacation.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)

I love it when a plan comes together.

Your life during the next quarter will be a swarm of odd coincidences that all seem to work in your favor.   Scheduling conflicts work themselves out without effort, troublesome students decide to transfer to another class, and HR may discover that they “accidentally” forgot to pay you for something earlier last year.   I do want you to remember two important things:   (1)  happy stress is still stress, (2)  don’t question good luck.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)

This will prove to be an interesting quarter for you.   After an academic rejection, you may decide to seek refuge in sex work.  While it may seem like a desperate move at the beginning, it actually will feel very fulfilling after a short time.   Stock up on lube and condoms.

Craigslist will make you devalue your new career choices, and you may want to come back to teaching.

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

There will be opportunities available to you sometime soon, Pisces.   Most likely a friend or colleague will burst into tears randomly.   First, you can step in and help.   And now that they have proven themselves vulnerable it is also a perfect time to exploit them for your own needs and desires,  you sick pervert.

And they will be appreciative.

If you are an evil teacher, have you considered blogging?   I am looking for a few dark hearted educators to join the evil league.   Post in the comment section, and I will be in touch!

Alphone Mucha - Zodiac 1896

Ah, Spring term is over and Summer is in the air… responsibilities seem so far away.   Now that those pesky final exams are out of the way.

Now, for a completely random segment let us have your student horoscope for next term.

Aries (March 21 – April 20) 

You are plagued by a feeling that you are missing something, like you were supposed to be in class for the entire term, but somehow you didn’t put it on your schedule.      I’m not saying that feeling is true or not, but I think you will want to check.     Check again, you may have missed something.

After that, you should read your syllabi to determine whether you missed a paper or a test.    Also check to see if you are wearing pants.

Taurus  (April 21 – May 21)

Crunch time is your time to shine.   You will find yourself reworking a project from start to finish after finding a minor error after finishing the FIRST time.   This means that you neglect your other classes for a few days, and the effect snowballs.    After working 90 hours per week for a few weeks in a row, you may start to consider a career as an exotic dancer.   Before you switch please remember that thongs can itch, especially if they are full of dollar bills.

Therefore, your mantra is:   done is better than perfect.

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

You should help out a friend in need.   This help can come in many different forms.   It may be that they are in deep need of a homework intervention, so bring tequila and a study guide.   Or it may turn out that they are in desperate need for a rebound hookup, so bring condoms (avoid tequila, because that would be rape).   Or you may need to cheer up an instructor who is buried under a three foot tall stack of grading, in which case bring two bottles of tequila and an extra red pen.

For you, the worst thing about finals will be the hangover(s).

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)

After pulling several all-night study sessions this week, you are feeling out of touch with reality.   You will have a very important conversation regarding your academics, but later on in your imagination you will replace the people of this with tropical fish.   Afterwards, you will dream of turning your papers in to your instructor, who is now a giant squid.

Once you are caught up on sleep, you will find that you can only recall your course material while humming “Aqua” songs.    There is no logical explanation for this.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Lets say that you are on a long vacation.   You have a plan for where you are going, and some ideas about what you would like to do.   When you get there, you make a random connection with someone which was entirely unexpected.  Nothing was according to plan, but it was perfect anyway.   You fall in love, then have your heart broken a week later when you have to leave.   Years later, you still pine for that lost person, even after you have a caring and stable relationship with another person.

This is a perfect analogy for school this term, Leo.

Virgo (August 23 – September 23)

Little changes will make big differences for you.   Even though you don’t need to do it to succeed, you decide to do your homework.   All of a sudden, it all makes sense!   You understand the deeper cosmological context of the knowledge, although you know that this feeling is fleeting and ephemeral.     You know the ultimate truth, we are like dust in the wind.

It is also a good time to make up an excuse for your extended absences to your instructor.   Be creative, they probably will forget something too pedestrian.

Libra (September 24-October 23)

Your natural leadership skills come to the fore this term.   It isn’t as though you asked for greatness, it seems to be thrust upon you.   So take it easy!  You are sure that you can get someone to do the work for you if necessary.  If the work didn’t get done, you can just as easily apportion blame.   Negotiate with your teachers, but be careful in case your instructor may also be a Libra.

Now is also a great time to work on your wider academic plan.   See if you can foster the image of a mastermind, and consider running for student government.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 22)

The winds of change are blowing.  You can feel them blowing you into a new academic direction soon.    If you were studying the arts, consider a change to the sciences.    Premed and engineering students may wish to pursue business.    Business students, you may find that art and history is calling your name.    Get inspired by something.

If you are daring, you could consider taking on a second major.   Or a third.   Student loans couldn’t really be that bad, could they?

Sagittarius (November 23 – December 21)

You may have found yourself in a slightly difficult situation, but you can overcome these setbacks.   It may be that you missed a few classes, and that put you in a slightly difficult situation.   You also may have accidentally slept through a test.   Be your smartest, most charming self, and go ask for some help to get through your term.

Seducing your instructor may seem like a good idea at the time, but be prepared to be laughed at.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)

How do I put this delicately Capricorn?   Uranus is in a sling, so watch where you point your moon.    You are going to feel cursed, but this isn’t really what the problem is.   The problem is you.   Now is the time to set aside your ego, and ask yourself who is actually calling the shots.

The difficulty here isn’t that the world is out to get you, it is just that the world doesn’t care about you.   Stop whining, and get to work.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)

 Years from now you are going to look back and realize that the most important events of your life happen this term.   You won’t notice them just yet, but make a note:   Thursday at 3:20 pm.   I’m not going to tell you which Thursday.

You may want to check and see if you have a valid passport, and know where your car keys are.   Buckle up and don’t speed, and for your sanity’s sake don’t look in the trunk.

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

You know how to get out and party.     And by party, I mean you didn’t go over your notes in three different colors, and you only do 2 revisions of your latest paper.   You may get upset by missing a question on your final, leaving you with a 95% on the test, but this will be offset by Mercury in retrograde and the fact that you have turned in every single extra credit assignment.

Your quests for the week are to do 2 of the following:    read something fiction written within the last 20 years,  get laid (be safe), play Frisbee, learn how to say “ain’t”,  or talk to a stranger.

Coming soon:   teacher horoscopes!

The term is almost over for me.   This is always bittersweet… I look will miss my students (yes, even you  ____ ), but I also look forward to getting a break from things as well.    This term I don’t have as much grading to keep up with, but I do still need a playlist of slightly snarky songs.

It helps to keep me sane.   Or my facsimile of sane, anyway.

So without further ado, here is my finals week playlist.    It is also available here on YouTube, along with last quarter’s picks.

 

Wish me luck.   Finals are coming.

Suddenly, there were jazz hands.

“There is nothing scarier in the world than jazz hands.”

(Michaela H.)

Jazz hands may seem campy, but it takes a special kind of crazy  to pull off jazz hands.    Part of you just doesn’t care what other people think.    But it is a dramatic, even a somewhat aggressive gesture.   Palms out and oscillating, with fingers rigid and wriggling like a sorcerer casting a spell.

Jazz Hands!

Jazz hands combine those qualities of exuberance and showmanship.     They show celebration, even triumph.   It is also the ASL version of applause.    All it takes is adding a maniacal grin, an evil laugh, or just a  little too much eye contact and it is a gesture of incalculable menace.

If you turn them around, jazz hands turn into “fan hands”.   Like a villain and his victim, opposites in expression.   Fan hands can’t help looking helpless and foolish, as their hand flaps.

Have you ever watched an evil genius steeple their fingers?

Do you notice how we will sometimes undulate our fingers?

This is the evil genius version of jazz hands.    Silently, we are applauding our own evil schemes for world domination.

Soon, the world will be mine.

Soon… but for now,  jazz hands!

Teachers are people who inspire, give valuable lessons, help people to their goals.   We push people’s limits, make them grow, give them skills and tools.   And we do it day in, day out.  We are more than subject matter experts, we are mentors, entertainers, and therapists with a command of how people learn.   Our explicit job is to make people BETTER.  And we do this day in and day out,  week in and week out, nurturing others.

Meh.goldfish memory

There is the very first part of that statement.   “Teachers are PEOPLE…”   Some days, we don’t want to get out of bed.   There are days when I don’t feel motivated to do anything other than play Xbox in my pyjamas, let alone teach.   This is also magnified with the fact that we live in a culture that doesn’t really value teachers that much (if you are reading this in another country, this may not be the case, but the U.S.A. doesn’t pay it’s educators very well).    Sometimes I get bored, or discouraged, or feel undervalued.   Teaching and nursing have high rates of burnout for a reason.   We demand a lot from these professions, and don’t give much back.  Who heals the healers?   Who nurtures the nurturers?

And you work through it.   Because you have to.

There are days when teaching is just a job.   When I only show up because I am paid to do it, and not because I love it.  On those days that I’m not feeling it, I’m happy that I have put in the work I have previously, because I can coast for a little while.   But autopilot is the enemy, because it keeps us from thinking and choosing.

I *do* love to teach.   There are times when a student looks up and tells you that they get it.  Or that they never knew that they could like math.   Or that they feel smart, and that they had never had that feeling before.    Those are the moments that remind me of why I teach.   But I love all of it, the good and the hard, all together.   Being conscious of these things is important.

Teaching is a labor of love, but it is still a labor.   You learn to push through it, recharge your batteries, and/or change things in your classroom to revitalize a bit.  This isn’t unique to being teachers, it is implicit in being a human being.  I will also recommend things like “This is Water“, which punctuates this quite nicely.

We are people, not just teachers.

The process of becoming a critical thinker starts in different places for different people.  Part of the job of teachers is to challenge the way that people think.   Why?   Because without being challenged periodically, we won’t be able to distinguish our good ideas from the bad ones.  Often times the worst of our thinking is about our selves.

How often do we lie to ourselves?    Being able to look at yourself rationally will help to deal with the rest of the world more reasonably as well.   When examining truth claims from others, examining their evidence/reasoning and checking for fallacies is a good idea.    So here are some common cognitive distortions that people often use on themselves.      The roots of these things are harder to sort out… they can be anything  from attempting to make yourself look good to yourself (we all self-edit to a certain degree) to more serious issues like trying to cope with abuse or mental illness.

Please note:   these are all things we all engage in to one degree or another.   Don’t freak out if you recognize that you have done these things, but do think about how to address them.

  • Emotional Reasoning-   Judgments based on your feelings aren’t necessarily true.   Emotions are not actually evidence.  People will justify things to themselves based on feelings rather than facts.   This gets to be a bad thing when we throw in some poor reasoning or justifications for other people’s actions.   “I feel bad, so I’m a bad person.”   Or “I love her, so whatever she does is okay”  (abusers exploit this).    Put together with some of the other cognitive distortions, this type of cognitive distortion can be devastating to a persons self-image.   For instance, people can discount the positive information about themselves and minimize their own needs to their own detriment.   Conversely they can develop a vastly exaggerated opinion of themselves and their abilities and hurt others by inflating their own wants and needs (narcissists do this).

 

  • Control/Causal Fallacies – These are areas where we try to assume control outside of our influence, or try to assign control to people or events where it doesn’t really belong.   How often do you hear the phrases “you made me jealous” or “they made me angry?”    A person is responsible for their own actions and reactions (and jealous/angry is not the only possible response to the behaviors of others).   Personalization is taking responsibility for the actions of another – like a child or a spouse.    The opposite of this is blame.  Then there are the times when people base their expectations on arbitrary rules of fairness, or expectations that other people will change to make you happy (i.e. basing your feelings entirely on the actions of others is both illogical and dangerous!).   If you find yourself “should”ing all over yourself, be very careful.

 

  • Categorization Errors  – One example of sloppy thinking is categorization errors.   Categorization is a normal and healthy thing for people to do – it helps to organize data, as well as come up with general responses to things.   But what happens when we mislabel or make hasty categorizations?     A VERY common thing to do is in dichotomous thinking (or sometimes black and white thinking).   This removes any spectrum or nuanced approach to things.   “Either you are with us, or you are against us.”   (Trust me, more people will be indifferent to you).   When used in conjunction with emotional reasoning,  it can be incredibly damaging.   For example, any bad experience can lead to a hasty categorization of yourself as bad, stupid, unlovable, or unskilled.

 

  • Jumping to conclusions -  Often times we want answers.   Sometimes people will invent answers in the absence of information, which is a good example of jumping to conclusions  or simply faulty reasoning.   Ever known a parent who immediately thought that when a their child was late it meant that they were dead in a ditch?    When used with some other cognitive errors you can make some terrible categorizations:   “Any male over the age of 35 playing with a child is either a father, or a pedophile.”   Yikes!     Another type of behavior that falls under this category is mind readers fallacy, where you can make assumptions about what another person is thinking or feeling.   Note:  what you think they are thinking is more of a reflection on yourself than what the other person is actually thinking!

 

Again, this is not a comprehensive list of thinking errors that people can make in their day-to-day life.   Once you are able to spot some of these cognitive distortions in yourself, then you can start to address them.    I will say that it takes some humility to admit that you have some flaws in how you think.   Sometimes it is even harder admitting to yourself that you have more worth than you thought.

Yes, it isn’t easy.   Worthwhile things rarely are.

Remember:   we judge ourselves based on our thoughts, we judge others based on their actions.

Think about it.

It is late in the quarter, and minds are turning towards late-term misanthropy.   In a recent conversation I was having here on campus, I remarked how I really needed to talk to a geology professor.   You see, geology professors know the best holes that you could hide a body in.   Preferably a body which doesn’t know the meaning of homework.

After a little while, we came up with a list of the people on campus who potentially could help you to carry out a murder.   Or maybe a maiming if perhaps a maiming would be more educational.

  • Geology Professor  – Knows the best cave systems, and/or abandoned mines to dump a body
  • Geography Professor – Similar to the geology professor, with the added benefit of knowing both obscure roads as well as jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Engineering Instructors – put together an elegant deathtrap, rather than something just cobbled together.
  • Psychology Professors - Figure out how to put your prey at ease by learning peoples psychological profiles.
  • Statistics Professor – Can calculate risk/probability of various schemes to kill those won’t show up/do their homework.   They also can help you plan “accidental” deaths.   Or maimings.
  • Chemistry Professor- Knows effective methods of both poisoning and dissolving a body.
  • Biology Professors – Know the effective ways to poisoning and dismembering a body.   Bonus points if they happen to specialize in virology and can access live rabies virus!
  • Agriculture Instructors – Access to both threshers and pig farms.  (Not after the virology teacher, obviously)
  • English Instructors - Use the right rhetoric to dissuade pursuit, as well as persuading your target(s) to get into a panel van, and/or writing convincing emails from a student address suggesting they traveled to Jamaica.
  • Legal/Law Professors – It is a good idea to know your rights about searching a vehicle BEFORE you transport a body.   Or parts of a body.
  • Math Professors – We can calculate the precise amount of plastic sheeting, duct-tape, and weight of a body both pre and post exsanguination.
  • Gym Teachers – Get in great shape to beat to death those inconsiderate students.  It also helps to run them down if they haven’t been into class for a while.

Note:   I don’t actually endorse killing or maiming of students.   I especially don’t endorse forcing them to dig their own graves “as learning exercise” deep in the woods.    Nor would I point out that a student who doesn’t show up for class isn’t likely to be missed for some time after they “disappear”.

I will not kill my students and wear their skin.

I will not kill my students and wear their skin.

I will not kill my students and wear their skin…