When I was in school, and manifestly unpopular, I still enjoyed going around and taking pictures. My Polaroid One Step had a slow lense and a large image area to expose, onto slow film. It took a lot of light to make a good picture, so I had a powerful flash. Some people would object to me popping in to take random pictures, so I started telling people "It's okay, I'm with the yearbook committee." I got away with this for a while.

Until I happened across a room of pretty girls, and took their picture. The old "yearbook committee" trick of course failed, as this was the yearbook committee. Oops.

When I was in school, I was told in class that adverbs generally end in -ly. "Really?" I asked. "Are you sure? Ugly, lovely, friendly, silly, elderly, wily, curly?" Having anticipated this, I had memorized this list, waiting for the right moment, to see if I could pull it off. Sure enough, the teacher looked briefly confused, then said "Oh, right, it's adjectives that tend to end in -ly." And the class dutifully wrote it down.
When I was studying computers in school, the early courses were packed, and used as weed-out courses to reduce the student load in the higher courses to a smaller set of theoretically more appropriate students. However, I took issue with the courses that weeded people out by being taught poorly. Since there was no mechanism to test out of these, I had to go and take them too, even though I pretty much knew all the material.

I noticed that the lecture hall for my ForTran class was vacant after the class ended, so I'd stick around, and re-teach each day's lesson in my style to whoever felt like hanging around. I got a huge benefit from this, as teaching something is a great way to find out what I really understood and where I was on thin ice. The stuff I realized I didn't quite get either, we'd work through together. A win all around.



November 2013

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