Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Nerd

5 Steps to Being Attractive in AP Classes

1. Be in an AP Class

This step is probably the most obvious. But, I've seem chainsaws with warning labels that read "Do not attempt to stop blade with hands." That label only exists because somebody actually attempted it. So, I give you a thousand apologies, but unless you're in an AP/CP/IB/Honors/Advanced/Nerdy class, this might not help too much. Or maybe it will! You decide.

2. Have an Interesting Name

My AP calculus class is 75% Asian. No racism, just the facts. Asians are smart people.

One of such Asian girls did a cartwheel down the aisle, and nearly kicked me in the face as I read my book of mathematical principles, theories, and things. Apparently she felt bad about this, so her and her other Asian friends were talking to me (because forced socializing is a reward...?).

My given name is Tylan (pronounced TIE-lan). Over the throng of loud nerds in the classroom, however, their ears heard Thailand. Now, I am the calculus nerd with part of their homeland as a name.

I'm not sure how many different names this will work for, but I'm pretty sure it helps.

3. Let Certain People Grade Your Papers

In a high school of 3,000, my math teacher doesn't want to take the time to grade all of the quizzes himself. In order to take care of this problem, he takes the massive amount of young laborers he has on hand and has them do his dirty work. We trade papers with other people in our class, and that person alone will see your score (aside from the teacher).

This is where you must make a decision. How well do you feel you did on the assignment? If you think you got 80-ish percent, it doesn't matter who grades your paper. If you think you did awesome, such as 117.2%, have a pretty girl grade it.

Carry on.

4. Ask The Right Questions

Every class has the designated brown-noser, generally an overly eager student who sits front-center, clinging to any teacher recognition like a life support.

Do not be that person.

Such students attempt to draw attention to the fact that they poured over the chapter prior to class, and is ready to segway the teacher into whatever message comes next in an overly exasperating manner. By reciting ver batum the material covered in the text, they attempt to impress the teacher by "predicting" what will be covered next.

Do not ask those questions.

Instead, ask questions that you're fairly certain everybody is thinking but not saying. For example, if you're covering derivatives, instead of asking, "Isn't the formula for a derivative 'the limit as h approaches 0 of the function f of a minus h minus f of a all over h'?", ask "Can we do the process... backwards?"

While the second question may have been foreshadowing semester two of high school calculus, it isn't done in as obvious of a manner, and is phrased in a slightly innocent and curious manner.

5. Respond Correctly to Jokes

If you're instructors are anything like mine, they will make corny jokes about their respective fields. These awkward situations must be approached tentatively. Sometimes, the joke is actually funny, in which case it is proper to "laugh out loud."

When the joke is too obscure for the mentality level of the classroom as a whole, respond with little recognition that a joke was made.

If the joke falls in between the two extremes, caution must be taken. The joke was understandable to the whole class, but not exactly Brian Reagan material. It is in this situation where incomprehension and total hysterics must be completely avoided. There is a definitive process for figuring out what to do.

1. Recognize - Did anybody else catch the joke? Look around you and see if people have faces of amusement-disgust (to imagine this particular emotion, imagine a genuinely interesting statement was said by somebody, who then spontaneously exploded into confetti).
2. Analyze - Is the general consensus one of forced enjoyment, or lack of understanding?
3. Vocalize - Once the mood of the classroom has been determined, respond accordingly. 4 times of 5 at my school in this situation, the correct response is to groan slightly loudly, accompanied by a face palm.

You are now on your way to receiving desirable, well-earned respect in your smarty-pants class. Congratulations.

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