‘How the hell am I supposed to integrate her?,’ shouted one of the artists in the class. ‘The same you did xe^xdx you ignorant prick – you use the integrals-in-parts paint brush’. Ahh shouts the class. Poor xcosx – while the students sit in their pretentiousness – jockeying with one another to see who can appear the most mathematically wise – one kid dons his N.D. class of 2013 shirt with glasses – as if he had to tell his classmates during his summer break he’s at this intutition for a credit at aother University. Another artist – a bearded old man – makes it obvious he’s only painting xcosx for medical school credit. Xcosx just sits there… while the humans with their different motives draw her curves – only 1 appreciates drawing her for own beauty – the teacher.
“You see, that is trivial – in 1990 – 75,000 kids took the AP exam – and then 110,000 took calc2 . 15 years later, in 2005, now 220,000 kids took the AP exam – a 3 fold increase. How many took calc2? It was 106,000 – a decrease! (his voice cracked when he said decrease, as if it personally hurt him)
‘ You superficial asses – whatever happened to austere beauty? Or the desire to climb the highest mountain – like George Mallory – “because it’s there”. Where are the lovers of wisdom? the true students of the ancients? Where are the Pythagorean followers – who believe and know to be true the creed that all things before you are draped in the language of number? Where are the Archimedes believers? Who when forced to bathe take fingers to their stomachs and draw mathematical figures in oil? Or who ignore the death and destruction of the world around us to finish off a diagram in the sand? – Whose completeness is more magnificent than any victory over the oppression of some warring peoples?
Dare to be great you unambitious – common – dim witted fellows. – burn with a fire for “want to” – a flame which thirsts for distinction – an urge that seeks to religiously worship the good, the just, and the beautiful!”
We all sat quiet in our seats. 'What the hell did he just say' we unanimously thought. But this story has taken place a million times – once w/the teacher as Isaac Borrow – one of the students in the audience – one who said not ‘what the hell’ was Isaac Newton. Once the teacher was Plato – one of the students who said not ‘what the hell’ was Aristotle! – When Aristotle said it – his student was Alexander. When Daavy said it – his student was Faraday. Now my teacher says it – who is listening?!