Saturday, July 18, 2009

In which attempts at humour run into a brick wall

Teaching Pratiti has three main advantages: (a) she is smarter than the average kid, so I need to put in less effort and can cover the ground faster; (b) in the garb of teaching Statistics I can get away with teaching maths (which is far more interesting); and (c) I get good food at her place. But sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth it. Because there are few things more dampening than to make clever comments before an unappreciative audience, and with Pratiti, this happens almost every week.

When I try to be funny, she usually quells me with a I-know-you’re-trying-in-your-silly-way-to-make-this-interesting-but-I-won’t-fall-for-it look. But more distressing is how so many of my clever comments are wasted on her because, being a kind of nerd, she often misses pop culture allusions which normal kids of her age ought to catch off the bat.

The other day I was explaining my preference for saying curves ‘hold water’ or ‘shed water’, rather than saying they are convex downwards or concave downwards. I said I find the terminology funny because it reminds me of Phoebe’s cute way of referring to G-sharp as ‘Ice Berg’ and A as ‘Bear Claw’ (because of her finger formations while playing them). But it turns out that she has never seen the Friends episode in question.

The week before, I was telling her about complex roots of cubic functions with real coefficients, and I quoted Yoda describing the Siths Lords’ Rule of Two: “Always two, there are. No more, no less.” Dashed clever of me, I thought it was. But it seems the misdirected girl has not seen a single Star Wars film!

Pratiti is one of those kids whose nerdy habits take them to the top of the class, but ever farther from normalcy. She has read the complete works of Dickens, but has never heard of I.R. Baboon. But I persevere: I will draw an approving giggle from her yet. Even if I have to quote Tolstoy in the next class.

11 comments:

Indecision Personified said...

ha ha... You're one to talk to 'normalcy'. :-)

Indecision Personified said...

talk 'of' normalcy I meant.

Pratiti said...

:) *chuckle chuckle chuckle* Happy? And I thought you told Sujaan that the way I react to your jokes is pretty much as satisfying as someone roflthemao, because I "secretly" enjoy it??

Pratiti said...

Oh hyan!! Onekkhon bhebey I managed to remember one pop culture reference I got! The DC4C joke, remember?? I told you that I liked it. I also appreciated Sujaan's Marlowe-Marlen pj. I'm not as nerdish as you make me sound.

Tommy said...

Pratiti: next time Sroyon uses the "sheds/holds water" terms, tell him that water falling anywhere on y=x³+x will run off to the left, even though half of the curve is concave upward and half is concave downward.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Haha. :D

Abhiroop said...

:) What a bunch of geeks!

But of course, to quote one of the greatest of all geeks: You need the geeks to know that youre cool!

Priyanka said...

I typed in a comment about Pratiti being insane and everything but it got deleted. Oh, and I'm still a little bowled over by Tommy's comment.

Sroyon said...

@IP: You say this because you have never met Pratiti.

@Pratiti: The fact that you get jokes about Marlowe further proves my point about you being a nerd.

@Tommy: Okay, so the terminology applies for a given range of a function only when there is a local maximum or minimum within that range. But we are entitled to compromise a little on scientific accuracy for the sake of cute terminology, aren't we?

@Shrabasti: Takai, if blogger.com decides for some reason to ban smileys and the word 'haha', you will have to give up commenting altogether, you realize?

@Abhiroop: You misquote the great man. "You need the nerds so you are not part of a second rung University. You need the party people so that you are not part of an uncool University."

@Priyanka: Clearly, there are too many geeks following this blog.

Pratiti said...

I am curious about this great man whom you and Lahirida quote. Very.

A Cameo said...

*nods his head vigorously*