Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Little Off-Topic

I'm standing in front of the class, spinning around a meter stick in one hand and holding a marker in the other. I'm using neither of these things: the class has gone off-topic and I'm okay with that. It's good to use these times to learn what my kids are interested in and what sorts of observations they make. Today, we're talking about the Mayan prophecy regarding the end of the world in December of 2012. I teach algebra by the way.

"Yo, this blowin' mines. If this shit is real, that means I just spent my whole damn life in school," Bryan, a student who barely comes to class remarked.

We've only spent about two minutes on this top and I'm already bored of this topic. "Seriously, Bryan? You seriously believe in that crap? Remember the priest last year who predicted the world would end in May? And yet, here we are, not dead. These things are basically idiotic theories created by people with an agenda. Fools spread them and idiots accept them. Someone's always making money off things like somewhere. In this case, it's probably Hollywood."

"Listen Mista, it be dem Mayans, they like, wrote it down and shit! Their calendar ended! There ain't no money in this, it's ova in December my G!"

"Relax, buddy. So, you're telling me that you believe the Mayans could truly predict the future? You're telling me that they will be correct in their prediction?" I asked.

"Definitely. We peacin' outta planet Earth in December."

"Okay. So if the Mayans could predict the future, then why didn't they foresee the end of their own vast empire? Why didn't they do anything about it?"

A long silence followed. "Alright, Mista, you right. I ain't think about it like that before."


"But still, we'll see who's right in December Mista."


My students are extremely interested in money, and so I usually tie a lot of the mathematics I teach in class to money, economics, and finance. After teaching them the exponential growth formula, I started explaining how one can earn money simply by keeping large sums of money in the bank to accrue interest over time (this obviously isn't sound advice for combating inflation - baby steps).

Emily, a student who barely comes to class (another one of those) seems to have something to say, "Yo Mista, why when I cash my check using the check cashing place they be like givin' me like, folded up and messed up bills and shit? I like ma bills crisp, that's why I use the real bank ATMs, not them fake-ass deli ones, they wylin."

"Uh... what?" I asked. That question was all over the place. I really shouldn't have even said what, because this poor kid has no idea what the fuck we're learning in class and I'm probably doing her a disservice by carrying on with this nonsense. 

"I'm jus sayin', like, I hate people that be foldin' their money. That's mad dirty, like you a dirty person if you do that. If you can't even take care of yo money, I don't even wanna know what yo room be lookin' like!" I could tell this topic was important to her because at this point she was yelling. I had to investigate.

"Dude, who the hell cares about what kind of money comes out of the ATM or who folds bills and who doesn't? Don't most people have folding wallets?"

"Imma ask you a question, okay? How you sposed to roll a j off a crumpled note? You can't do it, it's not right! It needs to be crisp, fresh. If you ain't usin' a fresh dolla, then that tells me somethin' bout you. Damn right it does."

"And now we all know something about you..." Class dismissed.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha! Please make a shit yomistas kids say video!

Anonymous said...

And it's too bad said student doesn't realize that the amount of bills she will ever be able to LEGALLY roll off is, most likely, directly correlated to the amount of education she completes. I don't teach math, but that is what I know. Please share and discuss.

Yo Mista said...

@ Anonymous #1:
Would love to, but how can I do it without showing their faces??

@ Anonymous #2:
You make a good point, but this is also the same kid who just told me today that her 5-year plan is to work as a stripper part-time and try to use that job to marry someone rich, get a joint account with them, and then rob them for all of their money...