Shoutouts: keifermiller, lil, ThatFanficGuy (possibly nowaypablo? I figure that you might get a chuckle out of it. Same goes for am_Unition)

Past few days were mostly about this thing:

I got an answer, although not from the principal. Like all professional adults, she fucked off. But one of the teachers told me why she thinks I'm no longer welcome. Apparently, students who attended my short lesson about invariants were discussing one of the humorous things that I just threw as a bit of an intuition. See, the invariant is pretty much exactly the thing you think it is: if there's a set of object that follows a certain set of rules, there might exist a property derived from the rules that will not change no matter how many times you will apply them. For example, in cellular automata (like the Conway's game of life) there will always be some sort of a structure that just persists. Glider (same as in Forever Labs logo) will glide forever etc. Here's roughly the analogy I used:

    You could actually use invariants to disprove Karma. Let's use a simple example and say that there are n people and only one of them has bad karma. Someone with good karma will be forced to exchange it by doing a deed that will effectively swap bad person's karma with the other's good karma. Therefore if there's even one person with bad karma, there will never be a state with only good karma.

(I know that it's not precisely how it works, I just wanted to make an analogy that would speak to them.)

Apparently I must have had some sort of an agenda against Buddhists or Hinduists or whoever else uses Karma. I mean, there are bad reasons, stupid reasons and there's this. I wonder if I would talk about Ham sandwich theorem (yeah, that's not only a real thing but an important mathematical result! Pancake theorem is a name for it in two dimensions) it would be deemed as insensitive toward people struggling with weightloss.

Fact that I wasn't confronted about it is just pure shit on part of the principal. I guess that I'm not mature enough to handle such sensitive topics, right?

Anyway, I have requisitioned one of the lecture halls for every other Thursday. My high school outreach is about to become official as I have put forward some paperwork. With two post-graduate students also wanting to get in on that and one professor willing to vouch for us, even the people in administration will have a problem with refusing it. What about the interest of actual students? Well, I went ahead and talked to principals in two other schools in the area. After meeting with them and some teachers, they were really into it and agreed to ask students in their extended (AP) courses. So far I have a rough estimate of thirty-eight people from my high school wanting to attend and twenty-six from the other two schools. Aside from proving me once more that I went to the Forge of Nerds, it also means that this thing is going to run for quite a few people.

Official start: most likely this October. Regardless, I am going to do this thing throughout the summer if there will be anyone interested. Shit is going to get real. :D

Moral of the story: even if the school is famous for being the place for 'whiz-kids' to be forged into future mathematicians and physicists it says nothing about the principal not being a complete and utter dumbass. I would say that it should be a lesson for me, to stop using weird analogies, but all of it could have been averted if only the mentioned principal would give me enough benefit of the doubt to actually let me explain it and talk it out like adults. But that's not really a lesson for me: I know that most of the "adult and professional because of age" people are full of shit and more childish than I ever was.


lil:

    Well, I went ahead and talked to principals in two other schools in the area. After meeting with them and some teachers, they were really into it and agreed to ask students in their extended (AP) courses.
This is fantastic and impressive. I hope you told those two principals what you think happened at your old school. You don't want that to come back and bite you. You will probably disagree with my following comments. I'm interested in knowing what you think:

    Like all professional adults, she fucked off.
Not all. Some, maybe even many, deal with things with integrity.

    But all of it could have been averted if only the mentioned principal would give me enough benefit of the doubt to actually let me explain it and talk it out like adults.

You are absolutely right about that. We should all give people the benefit of the doubt and try to understand a situation before taking action against them.

Principals are terrified of parents. Keep in mind that you still have not talked directly to the principal and don't really know what happened. You still have the option of behaving with integrity and trying to clarify any misunderstanding.

This means

1. Letting the principal know how you felt after talking to her.

2. Telling her what you heard and asking for clarification because

    But one of the teachers told me why she thinks I'm no longer welcome.
is still just a theory.

3. Showing understanding for her concerns (if the teacher was right). Showing understanding that she is responsible for student well-being.

4. Showing your commitment to teaching, math, kids etc. by telling her that you needed clarification and you are seeking mentoring with regard to anything you do.

5. Hoping you hadn't caused any harm, and apologizing for whatever problem you might have caused.

Just because the principal is not taking you seriously, you can be serious with this false or unnecessary accusation and apologize and more importantly, point the way --

    But that's not really a lesson for me: I know that most of the "adult and professional because of age" people are full of shit and more childish than I ever was.

Model appropriate behaviour by facing the problem calmly and asking for clarification and mentoring.

It's in your best interest to get this false or misguided or bullshit accusation cleared up with the principal and by all your actions, you've demonstrated that you are a serious teacher.

Rather than writing them off as being full of shit, give them a chance to work it out with you.


posted by Devac: 162 days ago