First off, I feel like I should apologize for the delay of my lastest post. Independence day weekend is ultimately the cause… simply put, I have a life and I’m not afraid to use it. To give you an idea about my friends, when I asked them last week what I should write in this blog they said “rabies!” I love my friends. We are not like other people.
Teaching (math) and Rabies
Yes, there is a clear parallel between rabies and teaching. Let me illustrate:
Rabies is a viral infection that is marked by acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), mania, depression, headache, fever, lethargy and almost inevitably death. Studying math is a condition that is frequently marked by headaches, depression, and lethargy, (hopefully) followed by mind-blowing insights and mania. Death by math is not immediate, but mathematically all death is inevitable.
Transmission of rabies to humans is almost exclusively by dogs (97% according to Wikipedia, and whatever source they cited). Transmission of math to humans begins with their parents and later by teachers, and will continue throughout their formative years. Rabidly enthusiastic math teachers often results in a more rapid acquisition of math and “math-fever”.
People are fascinated and terrified by both rabid dogs and by rabid math teachers. One very marked difference is that rabies makes a person want to drink less, while math frequently makes people want to drink more.
My job is to inflame students’ brains (metaphorically). Personally, I can blame my own math-mania on a series of slightly crazy math teachers. Like a good vector, I will pass on my mathemadness just like any pathogen.
I only bite upon request, however.
… Thanks Sarah and Tim. I wouldn’t have made the link between teaching and rabies if it weren’t for you.