14 October, 2010

New Math

As students come into my office to staple their mid term essays and ask where the faculty pigeon holes are, and as I hound students for their fall break travel detail forms, I think we are all feeling the middle of this term.  That strain is only allayed by the sense of relief that comes after an exam is finished and an essay is printed.  It is one of the most pleasant feelings this world can offer us, but how did mid terms creep up on us all?
Interrelationships journals due?
I remember learning in school that Distance = Rate x Time, so I asked Google maps the distance between London and Ithaca, but they wouldn't calculate that for me, so I have had to extrapolate that one.  Wiki Answers says that the distance between London and New York City is 2,983 miles and the distance from NYC to Ithaca is 223 miles according to Google maps, so the total distance is 3,206 miles.  The time that you are here is 4 months, which is 17 weeks or 119 days.  The only variable that leaves is Rate, and since you are about to leave for fall break and Bill and I will be meeting the Spring 2011 students in a week, I am keen to calculate the rate at which this term seems to be flying by.

To find that variable therefore we must divide the Distance, 3,206, by the Time.  3,206 divided by 4 is 801.5, divided 17 is 188.588 and divided by 119 is 26.941.  Now that we have these Rates, we have to clarify the increments they represent.  Perhaps we could measure in MPH.  That means that in the 2,856 hours between your arrival in August and departure in December this semester will have sped by at a rate of 1.119 MPH.  Even in your sleeping hours you have been going just over a mile an hour.  We aren't cars and we aren't training for marathons, so I would just like to ask, where is it all going?  Where are you all going?

I can answer that with a look at the map on the board outside my office! 
There are going to be so many more initials around this map one you're back from break!
-Claire (and Elsie)

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