Posts tagged ‘teacher’

Career Changes

When I give math joke presentations, I bombard the audience with several groan‑inducing puns. When they can take no more, I admit to them that (a) stand‑up comedy is NOT my full-time job and (b) I am not considering a career change. This admission usually provokes a collective sigh of relief from the audience.

I inform them, however, that I have several friends who recently changed careers.

I have a friend who used to be a statistician.
Now she’s a gynecologist.
Her specialty is histerectograms.

I have a friend who used to be a combinatorist.
Now she is a hairdresser.
She works with combs and perms.

I have a friend who used to be a high school math teacher.
Now he’s a densist.
He performs square root canals.

I have a friend who used to be a geometer.
Now he’s a taxidermist.
His specialty is Fourier (furrier) transforms.

I know a former inmate.
He became a poet.
Now he writes converse.

I have a friend who used to be a transformational geometer.
Now he polishes mirrors.
He specializes in reflections.

As you might well imagine, telling an audience about these career‑changing friends usually elicits more groans. Go figure.

I particularly like this joke format, so I’ll offer a challenge to you: Create a joke about a career-changing professional. Feel free to use the form below, use this Google Docs form, or place your joke in the Comments.

September 11, 2012 at 5:46 am 1 comment

22 Jokes From a Colleague

This past Sunday, I received 22 jokes from Keith Raskin, who has, among other things, too much time on his hands. Though some of them are clearly based on old chestnuts, Keith claims that they are all his original creations.

When I suggested to Keith that he had too much time on his hands, he responded, “Not much. Enthusiasm! Maybe brief obsession.” He proved his point by sending me another four jokes.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to keep these jokes to myself. I see no reason that you shouldn’t have to suffer, too.

Of the jokes he sent, there were six that I wasn’t sure I understood or just didn’t think were funny. The jokes that immediately follow are the 16 jokes that I understood and for which I saw possible inherent humorous value. The other six appear at the bottom of the post, along with Keith’s explanations. (Warning! When a joke has to be explained, it is no longer funny!)

A math student is told by his mother to set the table.
“To what?” he replies.

Which polygon is also a card trick?

I went to see Plane Meets Plane, but there was a long line. Not much point in seeing Plane Meets Line again.

Two barcodes go to a shady optometrist. They sit and stare at a light for half an hour. One of them says, “I think this is a scan.”

Two lines walk into a barcode. They hashed it out.

What does a vegan mathematician eat?
Roots, whole numbers, natural logs, tree diagrams, and stem-and-leaf plots.

Student: What’s infinity?
Math Teacher: Think of a number.
Student: Okay, I’ve got one.
Teacher: Good. That’s not it.

Student: What’s zero?
Teacher: The number of times something happens that doesn’t.
Student: What are the chances of that?
Teacher: Exactly.

How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?
On average, or do you want the whole distribution?

In life, trees grow roots.
In math, roots split logs.

A guy goes into a math store exactly eleven times.

What did the 8 say to infinity?
Rise and shine, buddy!

What did the Venn diagram say to infinity?
Eat something, dude!

How do you solve any equation?
Multiply both sides by zero.

What did the trig teacher say to the triangles?
You’re all right.

Security Guard: I need some ID.
Math Teacher: Additive or multiplicative?
Security Guard: Yours.
Math Teacher: Ah, reflexive!

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the jokes that I didn’t understand or didn’t think were funny. But Keith admits he’s not going for funny. He’s a high school teacher and is “desperate for tension breakers and minor amusements or moments of actual  engagement.”

Yes, I know that I am not the official arbiter of what’s mathematically funny. But then again — if not me, who?

What is the binomial distribution?
A free lunch program.

(“Binomial” sounds like “Buy no meal.”)

Two circles walk into a club. They made a tree.

(The suit clubs in a deck of cards is made from three circles and looks like a tree. Add two more circles, it looks even more like a tree.)

How did every student get a score over 100 on the test?
They were percentages!

(Percentages are numbers over 100, literally: for example, a% = a/100.)

What are inequalities?
Read a newspaper.

(Social commentary.)

Student: What’s abstract reasoning?
Teacher: …

A guy goes into a beleaguered math store.
Guy: What happened?
Clerk: Well, we have wall-to-wall problems, our answers are still in boxes, and our solutions are leaking out.

Along with explanations for some of the jokes above, Keith sent along four additional jokes. Here you go…

What’s the ultimate epsilon delta argument?
Public education.

Did Pythagoras do the first PPT presentation?

What’s a pyramid scheme?
Death by triangulation.

How are filmmakers topologists?
There are open and closed sets, sequences that wind up in or out of the film, full attention to surface details, whether things are connected and continuity, and lots of coffee and doughnuts.

August 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm 8 comments

Almost End of Summer

This is the point of the summer that, when I was a classroom teacher, I would start to panic, realizing that the start of the school year was just around the corner. “Oh, my goodness, they’ll be back in three weeks!” Now that I have an office job and kids of my own, it’s the point of the summer when I start to think, “Thank goodness, they’ll be back in school soon!”

For the teachers out there, here are a few jokes to ease you into the classroom…

Teacher: How far are you from the correct answer?
Student: Three seats, sir.

Teacher: Did your parents help you with these problems?
Student: Nope! I got them all wrong by myself.

Teacher: If I had five coconuts and gave you three, how many would I have left?
Student: I don’t know.
Teacher: Why not?
Student: Because all of our practice problems were about apples and oranges!

Teacher: If you got $10 each from 10 people, what would you have?
Student: A new bike!

And a joke that isn’t about the classroom, but was told to me by a high school student in a classroom:

What do you get when you cross a bridge with a bike?
The other side.

(Though maybe “bridge bike sine theta” is a better answer?)

August 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm 1 comment

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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