J Walking

I’m not sure I should be as pleased by this as I am. But I am.
One of my daughters is learning pre-algebra. She’s 12 and loquacious and isn’t a big fan of her math teacher.
Yesterday, the teacher was explaining “correlation” and said it was the same thing as “cause and effect.” Laura raised her hand, and when called upon, said the following:
“Actually, Mr. X (name withheld for fear of the off, off chance he discovers this blog entry), I think the two are rather different. For instance, I am getting older. Gas prices are rising. The two seem correlated but there is obviously no cause and effect.”
I love that. I love her backbone. I love how she told the story. I love that she was basically respectful. I am proud of her for standing up for herself.
The teacher apparently stammered something or another and moved on. She has a test today on this topic. If the teacher grades her wrong, half of the Kuo family (including my 85-year-old scientist Dad) will spring into action and go after the teacher. (Lovingly, of course).
This actually reminds me of a time when I was in second grade and we were learning about prime numbers. I got into an argument with the teacher. Zero, it seemed to me, was a prime number. I was assuredly wrong, she explained. I came home and told this to my father. He wasn’t happy.
The next day reports swirled around the school that he was in my math teachers classroom writing astonishingly explanations – math proofs? – on the board showing how it was possible I was correct (though, I think, the consensus is that zero is not a prime number). Dad went to Stanford and CalTech and was a geophysicist with a special love for math. He was proud of me. I hear my teacher wept. I called him tonight and said he might get called into action one more time. “Who has the plane ticket?” he asked. Mr. X beware.

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