February 3rd, 2005

classic cylon

(no subject)

While practicing piano this morning, I thought about what I'd written about my fifth grade experience yesterday. I didn't want to make it sound as if I thought my fifth grade education was poor. My fifth grade teacher was actually a great inspiration to me. She was the first person to set my feet on the path toward Stuyvesant and MIT. Sometime around graduation, she took my friend Dave (the one mentioned in the HS meme) and I aside and showed us a certificate her son had received from Stuyvesant. She said that both of us had a lot of potential and should "aim high" for that type of school. She also mentioned that her son wanted to go to MIT and that we should think about universities like that as well.

Prior to that conversation, I don't think I really identified with MIT in any particular way. I knew what MIT was ... I had been there during family day trips taken to the Boston area from Cape Cod. (I remember standing outside of 77 Mass Ave on one of those trips.) But until the conversation with my teacher, I don't remember thinking about going there. Interestingly enough, her son was in the first humanities (now known as HASS) class I took during fall semester of freshman year.

So, I would say my fifth grade education was as good as one could get in a public school during the early 1970s. I just wonder if there are things that I could have been taught back then that would have made other things easier down the line. Another topic I learned (this time in high school) that perhaps could have been substituted with something more modern was how to use log-trig tables to solve for missing angles and/or sides in geometric figures. I also learned how to do interpolation for values that were not in the tables. But perhaps there are other things I could have learned that are more useful today.
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