Thursday, April 07, 2011

Penguins and ham sandwiches.

“Because it’s impossible to be unhappy when looking at a penguin.”
My T.A. came in and asked me to Google “Penguin” under images.  As the screen brought up several pictures of these admittedly cute little creatures I asked him “And why are we looking at these?”  He spit out the quote above and then went to his desk and started doing his work.  I was dumbfounded, confused and speechless.  But I wasn’t unhappy.
The other day he came into class and we had the following conversation:
T.A.: “A ham sandwich is better than nothing, right?”
Me: “Right”
T.A.: “And nothing is better than eternal happiness, so doesn’t that make a ham sandwich better than eternal happiness?”
Me; “Uh, um, uh, well, uh…”
He left me speechless again when he came in and pronounced “Clocks and corndogs; the answer to life.”  He did admit that there was a story behind that statement, but was not inclined to explain.  I let it slide because, frankly, I was a little afraid to press it.
Seriously folks, I’m not creative enough to make these things up.
P.S. – JURY DUTY UPDATE.  No jurors needed tomorrow and my obligation is over, I don’t even need to check in again.  Figures, when I’m willing, and even kind of interest in being on a jury, and in a position where I won’t lose any pay for the days I miss, I don’t even get called.  Just my luck.


A Paperback Writer said...

Ahh! The TA plays off multiple meanings of words. Observe, Grasshopper:Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do. "Right" is a homonym, a word that has one spelling and one pronunciation, but multiple meanings.
Yes, TA has set his syllogism up correctly: A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, so, therefore, A is greater than C. But, in line one, "nothing" means the absence of things or zero, while in line two, "nothing" means "no other thing. Very subtle, but not the same thing. "Nothing" has more than one connotation, and the TA's example plays off it.
You, the math teacher, most assuredly saw the syllogism and the logic. But, perhaps you forgot in that instant about multiple word meanings.
Try the "two wrongs/ three wrongs" one with him. Certainly he'd like that.

word verif: mowmax

Max said...

Nah, I knew the logic broke down when you took into account the different meanings of "nothing", I just was trying to think how to make the argument that a ham sandwich is, in fact, eternal happiness.

Karen S. said...

Your friend TA sounds like a good person to have around to keep things light and funny! Too bad you didn't get to do jury duty, but they ask again...just keep voting....they say that's how you get in the pool by being a voter! ..and I didn't make that up!