News from the Plains. All this Red can make you Blue
The Hale is going on?
by Barry Friedman
A substitute math teacher at Tulsa's Nathan Hale High School, a few weeks before the end of the semester, was suspended after assigning a series of offending questions, including these two gems:
"Serial killer Ted Bundy has a 20-foot ladder leaning against his favorite tree. The ladder makes a 64-degree angle with the ground. What distance up the tree does the ladder reach?"
Answer: 17.975880925983339855645913533915707098599468276368437 feet. (Sin(64)=x/20)
"Creepy John watches his neighbors with a telescope. Their apartment is 12ft from the ground. John's is 36 ft. If the angle of depression from John's apartment is 47 degrees, how far apart are the two apartment buildings?"Answer: Not far enough apart.
Some of the parents were justifiably upset.
"The first thing that popped into my mind was just it's creepy," said Mattaliano. "I don't know if (the substitute's) trying to be humorous, if maybe that's some of his personal interest. He could have just got to the same root of the problem with just a simple name."Yeah, you say that, but the Creepy kind of lets you know John's not kicking right, if you know what I'm saying. Scrupulous John would send the kids in a different mathematical direction.
The principal of the school, Caleb Starr (and is there a better name anywhere in education?) said the teacher in question liked to engage his students with colorful examples ...
Starr said another question, for example, refers to Godzilla.He then took about 4.3 milliseconds to fire him.
Specifically, as to the Ted Bundy question, one parent said her son didn't even know who the serial murderer was until she told him.
"He's a teenager. He wasn't really too worried about it," she said.Even after you told him? Damn, this is one tough kid to impress.
And, yet, another student, when asked the teacher's name, said the man went by--wait for it--Mr. Rogers.
One more thing: Bundy had a favorite tree?