Trig or Treat

On Mischief Night, I spent a long time explaining our Halloween decorations to my neighbor. But I understood why he was confused. After all, they didn’t look like Halloween decorations.

There was the WITCH of Agnesi taped to our front door…

…the SKELETON of a cube hanging from our tree…

…and Napier’s BONES drawn on the sidewalk in chalk.

After I set our neighbor straight, I went for a walk in the woods.

I came across a mathematician stirring a cauldron in the middle of an open clearing. One by one, she added the eye of a newt, two whiskers from a black cat, a pinch of wolf’s bane, a dash of bat’s blood, three hairs from a mermaid, the ear of a troll, and finally a dollup of dragon’s breath. I asked her, “Why don’t you just add everything at the same time?”

“Oh, no,” she said. “To make an effective potion, the ingredients must be integrated by parts.”

Finally, a math equation for today:

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• 1. Mr. T  |  November 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

The Witch of Agnesi was my classroom’s Halloween decoration this year. It may have flown over the heads of my Algebra 1 students. If I only had a broom…
In the spirit of humor, I also told them that it’s not very often a holiday has 5 vowels in a row. “5 Vowels?” Yep! Double-U. “That’s a stretch” Vertical or horizontal.
I was on a roll…which led me back to the “how did they come up with that curve?”

• 2. venneblock  |  November 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

I love it! Sounds like you manage a fun classroom. I suspect your students let out a lot of shrieks and screams at your jokes — which seems perfectly appropriate for Halloween!

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