Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peck-um, Peppers

One of the great things about teaching is that learning takes place on both sides of the (metaphorical) podium.

So.  Last week I was teaching my statistics class some probability, specifically binomial probability experiments.  Don't worry, I'm not going to explain that now.  What's important, though, is that talking about binomial probability experiments requires one to say the word "success" approximately a million times.  Make that two million because I have two sections of stats.

Here's what I learned:  It is impossible to say the word success a million times (or even twenty) without at some point butchering one's pronunciation.  Unfortunately, for me that means changing "suck-sess" into "suck-sex".  Yeah, so that happened.  A bunch of times.

Sadly, this is not my first foray into being accidentally lewd in the classroom.  When I taught math at a high school in Virginia there was a time when we were covering trigonometric problems.  The abbreviation for the secant function is "sec".  I was using the variable x to represent the angle which meant writing "sec x" on the board several times.  You can see where this is heading.  Yup, in front of a whole room of 17-year olds, I wrote the word sex on the blackboard.  I sent them further into hysterics by saying "Well, ya know, it is Friday."  What I meant was that it had been a long week and I was tired.  What they thought I meant was that Friday = Sexday.  Frickin' fricklebats.

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