Category Archives: Education

Bad Math 101

Americans are not very good in Math. According to OECD 15 year-old US students are ranked # 37th in the world behind Hungary, Israel, Norway. 1 + 1 = 2 is a difficult concept to the Land of the Free. And forget about 3-D grafts. Dunce caps for most of the class. And students favorite […]

More Bad Math

The other night Ma’am called from Thailand. I was sitting at Frank’s Bar on Fulton. the football game on the tiny TV was a distraction along with Rosa the svelte Vietnamese homegirl bartender. Before opening my flip phone I told everyone to be quiet. They knew my story and concentrated on their drinks. “Mai mii […]

Brooklyn Tony ON MATH 101

A Math teacher asks her class: “If there are 5 birds sitting on a fence and you shoot one of them, how many will be left?” She calls on Brooklyn Tony. He replies, “None, they will all fly away with the first gunshot.” The teacher replies, “The correct answer is 4, but I like your […]

1 + 1 = 2 Circa 1972

The simple addition of 1 + 1 is the first math learned by children. Addition is followed by subtraction, division, and multiplication. The nuns at Our Lady of the Foothills believed in the power of rote education and each student was expected to memorize the math tables from 1 to 12. Fingers and toes aided […]

THE FLIGHT OF HISTORY by Peter Nolan Smith

At Xaverian High School outside of Boston Brother Phelan taught history without any deviation from the path of the textbook. I was Brother Phelan’s # 1 student, since I had read the textbook from beginning to end in the first week. During class I stared out the window, thinking about my cheerleader girlfriend, Janet ‘Big […]