Monday, 31 October 2011


Dr Lagina’s Math tutorial

√24/√3 = √(24/3) = √8

= √(4.2) = √4√2 = 2√2

√(81/25) = √81/√25 = 9/5


Bramm S
Blake F
Hailey Y
Jordan A
Kara B

Mathematics – A-level standard.

These are some good examples of operations with surds, using the rules for both multiplication (n√(a.b) = n√a.n√b) and division (n√(a/b) = n√a/n√b). All the working is correct. The sloppy square root sign in the second example extending over the equals sign could be confusing, and handwriting in general isn’t great, but is legible.

Unfortunately, despite this good academic work, Dr Lagina is entirely unsuited to a career in education due to his surname. It would be no use trying to insist on a different pronunciation such as La-GHEE-na as students of any age will still make cruel remarks – it is little wonder that his detention list is so long. It is a shame that no careers officer ever tried to dissuade him from his current employment path, though he is still young enough to change his vocation. It is either that or change his name: even a teacher should be able to afford the £33 fee for a Deed Poll, though perhaps he has already changed it from something even more embarrassing, like Dr Lesticle, Dr Lyphilis or Nick Clegg.

There are a couple of other points to make. Firstly, a different hand has scrawled MOZ on the blackboard. According to Wilson and Kelling’s broken windows theory, a disordered environment signals a place where people do as they please and get away with it without being detected. Like the New York City Transit Authority removing graffiti from their trains leading to a sudden and significant drop in petty and serious crime, this should have been wiped off before the lesson began in a zero-tolerance approach. Not restoring a disordered environment early means that classroom discipline will only deteriorate, a fact surely worsened when one’s surname rhymes with a part of the female genitals. Whether Moz is the Morty who appears on the detention list, or just a deranged Morrissey fan is not clear.

Secondly, the appearance of Bramm S on the detention list raises the questions of how many students with this unusual name there are in this class that they need to be differentiated by their surnames, and whether this is a class consisting entirely of Gothic novelists, though there is no sign of Mary S or Edgar A P, and the works of Jordan A and Kara B must have been sadly lost to the world of literature.

8/10 – Good work, though loses a mark for ‘math’. And remember that sticks and stones may break your bones, but being called Dr Vagina every day of your working life will never hurt you. Though it may cause a career-ending nervous breakdown.

(Many thanks to Wim for sending this picture in.)


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  2. Great to see you and this blog back in action! Brilliant post.

  3. May I suggest that "math" is short for the Latin "Mathematica"? In this case, dropping the S is actually a sign of an even higher degree of academic formality. You should be giving him bonus points for it.

  4. While in the UK, the abbreviation of "mathematics" is generally "maths", American English dispenses with the s. Therefore "math" is universally considered correct on this side of the pond.

    1. The author is undoubtedly aware of the use of "math" in the US, as indeed is virtually everyone in the UK thanks to the proliferation of US media on this side of the pond. However, to British ears "math" grates horribly which is why he has, tongue in cheek, marked it as losing marks.

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  7. These are hilarious...
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    Thanks for the laughs!

  8. Pretty sure LaGina is a woman. You can be a female doctor now, doncha know? Bloody patriarchy rearing its bloody head again ;)

    But yeah, think her 'name' is like LaGina Valentino or something similar.

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