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To My High School Math Teacher

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Thank you, Mr. Rogers (yes, his real name!) for rescuing me from teenage purgatory. Perplexed teenager, lacking social lumen pulled C's in English, D's in History - my dreadful retrograde trajectory projected no collegiate acumen, in prom discussions, practically subhuman! Then, your poetical geometry and sleek Cartesian choreography became my sailing ship, and I, its crewman. Derivatives soon danced in arcs non-static. Pythagorean proofs helped me progress, vectors resolved problems that once would vex. Your agile algebra of joy quadratic: my new hypotenuse of happiness helped me to find myself... I solved for x. Written 13 March 2020

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 12/15/2022 1:57:00 PM
BIG congrats on your win in Mark's contest, John. You found your calling in a subject many find a bit hard to comprehend. Kudos on that!
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John Watt
Date: 12/17/2022 10:20:00 PM
Thank you Vijay. The more I studied mathematics in college, the more I realized I was getting way over my head. But I learned enough to make a go at an engineering career.
Date: 12/15/2022 8:42:00 AM
It's interesting to go through the list and notice what the judge likes most as his winners. He likes the unique topic here and the delightfully interesting words you used! Big Congrats for your win
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John Watt
Date: 12/15/2022 12:58:00 PM
Thank you for your repeat visits to this one, Andrea. I suppose there aren't too many tribute poems to mathematics, lol.
Date: 12/14/2022 12:59:00 PM
John, this is clever and delightful. Thank you for my first exposure to an Italian Sonnet. You must have known I was hankering for a taste of pi, so you came by to appeal to my better angles. Ok, I'll stop now! A Fav poem for me. Congratulations on your win on Mile 22 of my 2022 Poetry Marathon Contest. Keep your running shoes on because Mile 23 has already started.
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John Watt
Date: 12/15/2022 12:55:00 PM
Mark, thank you for appreciating this and for placing it in your list of winners. Your marathon has been very enjoyable to participate in, I will be kind of sad to see it end ~ John
Date: 12/14/2022 11:48:00 AM
John, back with congratulations again for this wonderful winning poem and tribute to Mr. Rogers, your math teacher who awakened in you your true potential through numbers and equations that you now put into words! So happy to see it in the winners circle again. Three months to spring training!!! Sending you blessings of joy and grace for Christmas and all the best for the New Year R&R bro.
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John Watt
Date: 12/15/2022 12:53:00 PM
Sam, thanks for your stand up double on this one! No teacher has influenced me more in terms of career preparation, plus he also led the school's racquetball club and taught me to play a sport I still enjoy immensely. It is fun to remember him each time I reread this. Thanks for your kind words ~ John
Date: 12/30/2021 9:55:00 AM
John, back with congratulations for your win with this exceptionally crafted and spoken tribute to Mr. Rogers. So happy to see it on the winners list again - two on, two out, home run! Sending you joy and blessings for the new year my friend!
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John Watt
Date: 12/31/2021 4:18:00 PM
Thank you Samba, always enjoy your baseball analogies. Did you know you can calculate the distance between home plate and 2nd base using Pythagorean's theorem, or calculate the estimated distance of a home run using trajectory equations? Blessings to you throughout the New Year my friend ~ John
Date: 2/24/2021 4:18:00 PM
...nice write...a high school math teacher saved me also.....he had been a flight instructor and his teaching style helped attention deficit problems settle down...to thee logic of order and disorder......stan sand
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John Watt
Date: 12/31/2021 4:16:00 PM
Stan, thank you for sharing your story, we clearly have a lot in common. I'm glad you were able to read and relate ~ John
Date: 5/25/2020 1:42:00 PM
and this one, which was so clever. Yep, so far I have seen all on your list!
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John Watt
Date: 6/8/2020 9:21:00 PM
Much gratitude for going through my whole list and leaving so many kind comments!
Date: 5/1/2020 5:21:00 PM
I came to read the poem you mentioned and I love it! The last line is especially deep. I really liked calculus in high school, but mostly because I could apply it directly to science! :) Geometry was my best subject though because I thought the proofs were really fun. They remind me of the chemistry problems I love to do! I love how you outline the many types of math and the joy that comes from finding something you love. :)
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John Watt
Date: 5/1/2020 7:05:00 PM
Heather, I'm glad we math nerds are sticking together! Thanks for dropping by and leaving your friendly comment. I was toying with the line "Derivatives are integral to my happiness" or something like that, but ended up leaving out integrals entirely. Glad you liked it ~ John
Date: 4/22/2020 1:32:00 AM
Hey my gosh! You're one of my favorite poets here. I love how you blend the math with poetry. Math was my favorite subject in school. Kindly send me a mail John to gideonfoli7@gmail.com I have a lot to learn from you. Thanks John. God bless you my dear brother.
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John Watt
Date: 4/22/2020 7:11:00 PM
Gideon, there don't seem to be a lot of us poets who enjoyed math in high school (though you can find a couple in the comments below). It must be a right brain / left brain thing? Anyway, thanks for the uplifting comment. I'm still learning a lot about poetry myself! ~ John
Date: 4/15/2020 8:22:00 PM
Damn, I've been missing some enlightened poetry--sorry, yet you have much to share with those less fortunate--probably too much a gentleman---but there are ways LOL---you're really a talented guy
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John Watt
Date: 4/16/2020 1:08:00 AM
Thanks Craig. I'm glad you saw this... it's one of my more recent sonnets and I'm happy to receive your affirmation.
Date: 4/4/2020 11:21:00 PM
This is masterfully crafted integrating math, poetry and your story into your winning poem. Congratulations, John! Well done. I have had the chance to re-unite with many of my teachers who greatly influenced me with life changing experiences. Wonderful tribute to Mr. Rogers.
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Sam Kauffman
Date: 4/5/2020 12:54:00 PM
Yes she did with a few becoming close friends. I think she treasured every chance encounter. I got to direct the drama program at a school and I often run into my "characters." so fun to see them all grown up!
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John Watt
Date: 4/4/2020 11:36:00 PM
Good for you, Sam, for seeking out those teachers! I'm sure it meant so much for them to hear from you and know they played a role in who you have become! I wish more teachers were able to get that feedback from appreciative former students. Did your mother ever meet with former students? Thank you, friend, for the lovely visit and comment!
Date: 4/4/2020 4:47:00 PM
I loved math although I wasn't the best at it lol! Congrats on your win!;)
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John Watt
Date: 4/4/2020 5:34:00 PM
Brenda, so nice to know I'm not alone in loving math! Thanks for the visit!
Date: 4/3/2020 8:10:00 PM
Yayyyy, we both placed!!! Congratulations
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John Watt
Date: 4/3/2020 11:25:00 PM
Garçon! Another round of the bubbly, s'il vous plais!
Date: 3/15/2020 10:35:00 PM
Wow! Thanks for sharing this tribute to your teacher, presented in your awesome poetic style. God bless you. Thanks likewise for your comments; I appreciate them.
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John Watt
Date: 3/15/2020 11:58:00 PM
Thank you Beata, I appreciate you and your words ~ John
Date: 3/15/2020 2:47:00 PM
Has your life career choices been influenced by this teacher and math? I had deplorable math teachers, and i can barely understand half the math jargon this poem mentions. Nonetheless, I find this sonnet superb. It should be part of the "six collection"
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John Watt
Date: 3/15/2020 2:56:00 PM
Very much so. I pursued engineering because of the love for math and computers instilled in me by Mr. Rogers. I truly was floundering before him.
Date: 3/15/2020 2:45:00 PM
that was a magnificent tribute to MR ROGERS (haha, MY dad was Roger MILLER). Is he still alive I wonder? I bet he would adore seeing this. I had a very young creative writing teacher who I found out is still alive, in her early 70's and has written lovely free verse. I contacted her about my good fortune with the movie and she wrote me back and I her again, but nothing developed from there. I guess a friendship not to be pursued!
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John Watt
Date: 3/15/2020 2:59:00 PM
Thank you, my friend. I'm sad that your correspondence was cut short, but at least she was able to know the impact she had on your life. Kudos to you for reaching out!
Date: 3/15/2020 2:39:00 PM
A nice gesture for an amazing teacher and mentor from a splendid poet, what more could Mr Rodgers ask for. This is a splendid piece of work John, well done!
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John Watt
Date: 3/15/2020 3:04:00 PM
Thank you for your big hearted comment, Rercy. I think of you as a splendid poetess and look forward to following you. Loved your "Epidemic" piece.
Date: 3/15/2020 1:35:00 PM
Very nicely deduced figures in your poem John. But why did it remind me of '2 plus 2 is 4 minus 1 that's 3 quick maths'? Hunkered down here too. -Rich
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John Watt
Date: 3/15/2020 1:51:00 PM
LOL! Are you by any chance referring to "New Math" by Tom Lehrer? Love that song! Thanks Raven, for the kind words about the raw nerve I've opened regarding an unpopular high school subject ~ John
Date: 3/14/2020 11:34:00 PM
What a wonderful teacher he must be/have been!! Great poem and tribute, John. ~ Gershon
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 11:36:00 PM
Thank you friend! You are so right, he was a life changer for me.
Date: 3/14/2020 6:52:00 PM
Sounds like he made those numbers dance. Wonderful, creative tribute. I'd always admired my teachers.
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 6:57:00 PM
Where would any of us be without our teachers, especially those that recognized the spark and fanned the flame? Thank you, Juliet.
Date: 3/14/2020 4:13:00 PM
A fine piece John, well-penned with great imagery along the way. I was a disaster at Maths, worse than most of the other subjects that were a disaster. Have a great day, wet and windy here this late night. Blessings, Gordon
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 4:26:00 PM
As we engineers like to say, we'd better be good at math or nobody will drive on our bridges, lol! As you can see in the comments below, you're not alone in your feelings. Glad you came by for a visit, though! It's wet and windy here, too - hunkering down.
Date: 3/14/2020 2:53:00 PM
a wonderful tribute, john! math is a mystery to me, but as a former (english) teacher, i think it's so special to read a poem describing how influential your teacher was in your life. we never know the impact we have or had on students' lives...
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 3:33:00 PM
I sadly agree. I think there should be a Facebook feature just for students to locate former teachers to say, "thank you. You changed my life!" Thank you, Ilene for the lovely visit!
Date: 3/14/2020 10:42:00 AM
The worst grade I received in college was from who I considered to be my best prof. She was brutally tuff but fare. Great write John...
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:30:00 PM
Charlie, I bet you learned more from her than other profs with easier grading curves, yes? Thanks for the visit and kind words ~ John
Date: 3/14/2020 9:19:00 AM
This is great. All it takes is the right spark to start the fire. Way to go Combustible John.
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:30:00 PM
Combustible John - my new rapper name, lol! Thanks for the great visit, Richard
Date: 3/14/2020 7:08:00 AM
WOW! This is awesome!! Mr. Rogers would be honored to read this. You are talented poet, John.
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:32:00 PM
I appreciate those words very much, coming from such talent as yours Mr Vijay. I don't get an all-caps WOW very often! Grateful, my kind sir.
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