Sunday, October 07, 2007


You paid attention during 100% of high school!

Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

I am not sure that I found school that useful, it all seemed very dull and very boring. What is the purpose of trigonometry?

I remember an interview with Bob Geldorf, who said he was educated by the Christian Brothers, his Father was called in when it was discovered he was reading the Thoughts of Chairman Mao to his fellows. Geldorf's father said, "Look, you have had him in the Catholic Education system for 11 years, if that hasn't convinced him that Mao is wrong, you've fallen down on the job!


Et Expecto said...

Was it Euclid, or maybe Pythagoras, who, when asked the question "What does God do?", replied "He geometizes".

As a believer in the good works of God, surely you should be an ardent trigonometizer. It has everything to do with God's creation.

I speak as a mathematician.

Et Expecto said...

Incidentally, how did you get on with the quiz? I got 91%. I was a little uncertain whether or not Hinduism is bigger than Taoism. I think that was where I made a mistake.

Fr Ray Blake said...

So that is what trigonometry was about and I always thougt it was for measuring the height of a flagpole.
I got 100%: I think Hinduism is bigger than Toaism.

Anagnostis said...

91%. Couldn't do the sums then, and can't do them now.

gemoftheocean said...

The purpose of trigonometry is to help you eliminate "civil engineering" as a career choice.

[With some people being good at it puts that career option in their heads.]

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

What a rotten quiz !

No questions on Greek, Latin, ancient history, art, (apart from the silly question about Michelangelo's David,) music, cricket, or anything useful.

(I scored a meagre 86%)

Create your own quiz, eh ?
I would ask them to explain the following :

1. iota subscript
2. weak aorist
3. semi-deponent
4. pluperfect subjunctive
5. elegiac distych
6. Minoan
7. Anatolian
8. vanishing point
9. andantino
10.long off

I remember learning these things at prep. school.
I remember them as clearly as I do the boiled cabbage and stewed custard.

Did I find it dull and boring, as Father Ray recalls ?

Some of it, yes.
Most of it, no.

I acquired a lifelong love of Greek, Latin, art and music. Not a complete waste of time, surely.

It is true, however, one could sum up one's prep. school education in the words of a popular song :

We know how Caesar conquered Gaul
And how to whack a cricket ball ..

JARay said...

I am somewhat surprised that Dr. Wright did not follow up on ex expecto's comment that God geometrises.
As an expert on Greek Dr Wright would know that "geo" is the Greek for Earth, also that "metro" is the Greek for "I measure"
Hence, since God is always geometrising He is always taking the measure of what is happening on earth. The earth and all that it contains, is His creation. He knows exactly what is going on there since nothing happens there without Him measuring it up.
I would be interested in Dr. Wright's quiz if he ever designs it.
(I'm not very sure about a weak aorist but I could always look it up) I think I know the rest.


p.s. I used to teach mathematics.
Since my retirement, I seem to have forgotten most of it.

JARay said...

I got 91% too


Anonymous said...

My, there are some clever readers of this blog! And to think I congratulated myself when I achieved 80%! Interested to see that the retired teacher of maths says he has forgotten most of it.

JARay said...

Following Peterlin's comment I questioned myself just what things I can still remember of my Mathematics. As I went through a few things I find that I have no difficulty in remembering that the integral of sin(x) is -cos(x)+ C.
I cannot remember the proof of De Moivre's Theorem but I know where to find it.
I can still remember how to obtain the inverse of a Matrix and I can still remember that if the determinant of the Matrix is zero then it has no inverse Anything divided by zero is infinity!
So, I haven't quite forgotten everything but it is over 12 years since I taught it.


Dr. Peter H. Wright said...


I am flattered that you think I'm an expert in Greek.
That's not what our classics master would have said !

Geometry ?
Yes, I've heard of it.
But I don't know what it is.
Something to do with circles, squares and triangles, I think.

If you don't mind, I'll leave you to have a learned discourse with "et expecto".

A weak aorist in Greek corresponds approximately to the imperfect tense in Latin, though it might be more accurately described as a past indefinite tense.
And the rules for its construction are, of course, somewhat different.

I love your comment on trigonometry.

If I had to guess what on earth it is, I would say it (probably) derives from the Greek, meaning the measurement of triangles.

Therefore, God the Divine Trigonometer presumably goes round measuring triangles.

Et Expecto said...

Although a great enthusiast for De Miovre's theorem, I do prefer its more generalized form which is Euler's Theorem.

e to the i pi + 1 = 0

Can we interest Fr Blake in this type of thing, or is there a blog specializing in these matters?

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