I don’t actually have any math classes at school. I’m a liberal arts major, which means that I had to take one (1) term of Math 111C, College Algebra, in order to get my general studies requirements out of the way.
I did also take a term of statistics, but that was as an elective.
On the other hand, I have an Asian studies class that’s taught in the math building and which meets directly after a calculus class.
By the way, I DID take calculus in High School, but I failed two terms of it and they politely suggested that I probably shouldn’t take a third, so I have a bit of respect for anyone who can get through calculus with their sanity intact.
Today I was walking to my seat and had to fight my way through a throng of students who were clustered around the math professor. From the gist of their questions, I gathered that they’d had a mid-term last week and received the results today. Fair enough. I sat down, got out my notebook for my class, and waited for the throng to disperse and for my professor to arrive and start talking about the rise of Confucianism in Korea in the 13th century, which is every bit as exciting as you may imagine.
Anyway, one of the last students to get an audience with the professor had a question that I imagine every professor hears quite often.
“Will you be grading the exam on a curve?”
The professor seemed to think about this for a minute before replying.
“Well, I can. I certainly can. But, like I said in class, the class average for the test was actually 85 percent. Do you still want me to grade yours on a curve?”
The petitioner’s face went blank. He seemed to know he’d walked into a trap. There was a beautiful pause before he came up with:
“Uh, I don’t know. Do I?”
Calculus, people. This was in a calculus class.