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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 sad telarian* 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. *telarian - spinning a web, as a spider

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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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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Date: 6/8/2020 7:25:00 PM
I love math (as long as it isn't Algebra II/synthetic division) as well it is one of my strong suits! I loved this poem! ~Lili
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John Watt
Date: 6/20/2020 7:39:00 PM
Lili, so glad to know you love math! I'm glad you were able to see this and so thankful for your comment ~ 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 11:28:00 AM
Aw love this! Yummy mathematical metaphors. Maths was my favourite subject at school. Amongst the teenage uncertainty, there was nothing like writing a curly x with a newly sharpened pencil and solving a good juicy quadratic. A fav x
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:28:00 PM
P.S. "Maths" vs. "Math" is one of those British/American variances that make our language and our cross-the-pond relationship so fascinating to me. Have you ever written a humor poem on those variations? I'd love to read it!
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:20:00 PM
Wow, Nina I didn't expect for our literary wonders here on Soup to be at all resonant with my mathematical proclivities. My creative writing side was latent for many years before poetry decided to blossom, but for decades people knew me as "that numbers guy", lol! Great to know I have a fellow math geek on the Soup! Loved your comment, and thanks for the fav ~ John
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.
Date: 3/14/2020 4:26:00 AM
"you helped me find myself"! I do relate to the depth of your message conveyed in a beautiful fine poetry, John! Honour and veneration to every single soul who is able to lend a true heart and an insightful mind to a human nature and help elevate, uplift and enlighten.. I'm so pleased your teacher could reach the depth of your soul and mark you as a person.. A great pleasure to read your poetry and feel its beauty! My deepest regards and blessings.
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:34:00 PM
Besma, your poet's eye and generous heart bleed out of your lavish response to this little poem of mine. Your message of positivity and human interaction is gratefully received. Bless you, dear poetess! ~ John
Date: 3/14/2020 4:07:00 AM
I read this mesmerized, for math is not a language I speak, however, I recognized the talent you have, and the tribute you were giving in spite of my math phobia and high fear of almost all of these theories and mathematical words.
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 4:26:00 AM
LOL, Caren you are NOT ALONE! So many have the same syndrome. I fear there just aren't enough good math teachers in the world. He was very good. Thank you for the lovely visit!
Date: 3/13/2020 9:38:00 PM
John, wonderful write, I had a teacher who inspired me too, I was best in literature and creative writing, that is where my passion showed and was encouraged _Constance
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John Watt
Date: 3/14/2020 12:37:00 PM
I meant to add a word of gratitude for that specific teacher of yours who inspired and encouraged you... we at Soup have reaped the fruits of your talent that s/he sowed years ago. Bless you in these troubling times, dear Constance. Hugs ~ John
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John Watt
Date: 3/13/2020 10:32:00 PM
Thank goodness for teachers who spot a passion and stoke the fire! Thanks for the visit, my friend.
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