Satire: AU student discovers math is taught differently in her old high school
AU freshman made a remarkable finding over holiday break
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.
Over winter break, freshman Stacy Davis made a startling discovery while visiting her former high school.
“They teach math totally differently now,” Davis said. “I knew it would be weird to go back after graduating, but I can’t believe they changed math.”
Davis’s revelation came on Jan. 6 when she visited Riverside High in northern New Jersey, where she graduated from last spring.
Since her return to campus, people close to Davis have noticed a change in her demeanor.
“She’s not the same,” said Taylor Parks, Davis’s roommate. “She seems really put off by how her old high school is teaching math. Frankly, I’m not even sure why she’s obsessing over it—it’s not like she has to go back there.”
“I’m not sure how much math could have changed in one year,” said sophomore Isa Acosta, Davis’s TA for World Politics. “At my old school, it always seemed like it took them years to do the simplest things—like fixing the roof.”
At first, it remained unclear what actual changes took place to Riverside High’s math curriculum, but eventually Davis shared what happened.
“They’re trying to teach everyday math, so students feel more prepared for the real world,” said Davis. “Why the heck did I have to muddle through pre-calculus and all the future students only have to learn how to balance a checkbook?”
The school’s new curriculum also involves a “critical thinking” initiative.
“I talked to Dr. Hardlin, the head of the math department, because I was so distressed,” Davis said. “She told me that new math means students have to write down sentences, not just numbers. It’s part of a new ‘critical thinking’ initiative.”
“I don’t know how they used to do it at Stacy’s old school,” said Kade Wall, one of Davis’s friends. “Writing down how you solved a problem seems like a pretty integral part of math to me.”
“Most AU wonks aren’t big math fans, so I guess the mere mention of math might have thrown Stacy into a tizzy,” said Aditi Badal, another close friend of Davis.
Davis said that in spite of the changes, she heard that students are adjusting smoothly.
“I heard from a few of my friends who are still in high school that people are getting used to the change,” said Davis. “But where does it stop? Next thing you know, they’re going to want you to do critical thinking and write sentences in English!”
Owen Boice is a freshman in the School of Public Affairs and a satire columnist at The Eagle.