St. Louis, MO—
The Halfway Post’s annual report with Ms. King’s former 8th grade algebra class has confirmed once again that not a single one of her students has actually needed to know how to solve polynomial math problems.
“You’ll never know when you might need to know this,” was Ms. King’s favorite phrase to pacify the apathetic math students in her second-hour algebra class back in 2006. She would then point to a poster tacked on the classroom wall picturing a mansion on the beach with a giant garage filled with five sports cars. Beneath the mansion was the phrase “Motivation for higher math.”
But it appears that the entire class has literally never needed to know how to solve polynomial equations.
“It’s bullshit,” said former Ms. King student Sophia Turner. “I knew she was lying. I knew from the day I brought my homework home and no one in my family knew how to help me with it. Not my mom, not my dad, not any of my aunts or uncles, none of my older cousins. My grandpa told me to tell Ms. King to “F off” because he didn’t need to know how to solve polynomials when he was killing Nazis in northern France.”
Other students explained how they specifically chose their career paths in order to not need to use higher mathematical skills.
“Ms. King made me realize I hated math and that I didn’t want to waste my time in college learning superfluous left brain concepts like how to draw a circle on a graph,” said former student Matthew Bates. “And I may not have five sports cars yet, but I have two already and I owe my success to street smarts—not higher math. Ms. King’s poster should have featured a mountain of cocaine, that’s how I made my fortune.”
Several students had regrets about following Ms. King’s career pathway advice.
“Ms. King really inspired me to apply myself and go to college to try and get a high paying job involving math, and I did,” said another former student, Michelle Warson. “But now I’m saddled with $60,000 in college loans, and I can’t afford to move out of my parent’s basement because wages just haven’t kept up with the cost of living. Honestly, I resent Ms. King for insisting I follow the last generation’s paradigm for success because it’s just not a sustainable plan for my generation.”
“I went to college, got my degree like Ms. King said, got my master’s, and now I’m too over-educated for the entry-level jobs in this economy,” said former student Thomas Dukeman. “And I can’t possibly afford to work an unpaid internship for six months in order to get my foot in the door at some firm. I’m not trying to say Ms. King should be fired or anything, but the world is just way different than when Ms. King was our age in the 1970s. Kids these days need updated advice.”
Maybe between now and The Halfway Post’s next annual report, one of these millennial students will have actually found him or herself in a position where knowing how to solve polynomial equations came in handy.
But probably not.
(Photo courtesy of Steven S.)