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September 14th, 2000

The Mad Minute

While commercials say that math is power, when I was in school, math was The Mad Minute. We were all given these sheets, which had lots of math problems on them – and had just one minute in which to do them all.

They were all passed out, face down. Then it was a race. The first person done got to read all of his or her answers allowed, until a miss. If there was one wrong, the second place finisher had a chance for the glory… and so on, and so on. The winner would get… something. Depended on the teacher, frankly, but in most cases it was candy. If the teacher was cheap, you got a pencil or eraser. Ooooh! -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Thursday September 14, 2000 -- 1:51:44PM
i remember that as well. it was in the fourth grade. I don't remember what the teacher gave us, though. but it didn't matter because i never won.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 14, 2000 -- 2:39:21PM
These things were huge panicfests for me, as I've always been competitive. I remember having high concentrations of stress when these things came about and getting way too upset with myself if I didn't win.

FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Thursday September 14, 2000 -- 4:59:04PM
We played something similar in 1st grade but it was using math flashcards. All the students stood up and the defending champ stood at his neighbor's desk to challenge that pupil. The teacher would hold up a flashcard and whoever answered first moved on to the next desk and so on until he/she lost. Then, the new winner would take over the path and go around the room until he/she lost or until someone went undefeated. You would think this would take forever but the same 4 kids always managed to kick ass and make the game time manageable. Math was never Fezz's strong point but he got creative and solved the flashcards by counting on his fingers, thus earning the nickname "Fast Fingers" at Emerson Elementary School. It worked quite well as only 2 games were lost that whole year using this method.
-Old Fezz

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 14, 2000 -- 5:01:01PM
Ah, I remember that game as well, OF. I also did pretty well with this game but always felt guilty when I got to the "stupid kids" desks and wiped the floor with 'em. ;)

And then I became one of the "stupid kids" in college when I tried to take Calc II graded rather than pass-fail.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday September 14, 2000 -- 11:19:16PM
In the 3rd grade we would watch crappy educational films (always about Colonial times because it's Virginia) and afterwards there was a "contest" to see who could recall the most facts from the video. One I was the far-ahead leader with 53 (including a nuggest about Edgar Alan Poe burning his furniture to stay warm). My teacher was so impressed that she read all mine to the class...who promptly copied what they could on their own lists so as to beat me. That was a crappy day.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:46:44 pm

DATE: Sunday November 20, 2005 -- 12:11:34 pm

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday November 20, 2005 -- 1:54:32 pm
I always won the gradeschool math bees. Then we got into algebra, as taught by senile old Sister Vera. Her breath was so bad that you quickly learned not to ask her to show you how to do something at your desk. When she got withing three feet all you wanted for her to do was go away before her dog shit breath made you vomit. My math skills went totally downhill from there.

The prizes were nothing great. I remember they were often superstitious Catholic totems like scapulars or little statues of St. Christopher--as if any Catholic kid didn't already have ten scapulars around his/her damn neck at any given moment. They gave away cheapo giveaway rosaries like Mardi Gras beads. Oh, gee, another cheapo giveaway rosary for all the work . . . just what I always wanted. Don't get me wrong, I'd have been thrilled if they gave me a free Bible or something. Candy or school supplies would have been good.

Oh yeah, if you came in last two weeks in a row, you got spanked with a wooden paddle in front of the whole class. One swat for however many weeks you were the class fuck up. So, the first time you were dead last twice in a row, you got two swats. The next time, you got three and so on. They finally stopped and started over again at five when Greg O. came in last every week for an entire year.

Thanks for the memories.

Hey! When did "Post" change to "Hit Me"?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday November 20, 2005 -- 2:02:44 pm
Hey! When did "Post" change to "Hit Me"?

It's just for you, Joseph. (Actually, it happened yesterday in the midst of my own Mad Minute.)

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