Archive Dumping II

I came across these as I was cleaning several gigabytes of random detritus off of my computer.  As always, they’re much easier than a real update, so enjoy.

∫2xdx from x = 6 to x = 7 Ways of Looking at Math 213


Among nine students
The only moving thing
Was a blue marker on a whiteboard.

e – 1

I needed three minds,
Like Cerberus,
To figure out how to evaluate the double integral of a solid suspended in three dimensional space above the domain D.

≈ π

The whiteboard filled with formulas
Like a blooming flower.

{ 3, 4, 5 } ∩ { 2, 4, 6 }

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a derivative
Are a man and a woman and a derivative,
The limit of which as x approaches infinity
Is 1.


I know that I do not enjoy
Using the second derivative test
To find inflections
Or subtle fluctuations.
A curved surface
Or its tangent plane.


The sun sets through the tinted glass
Casting a gray-orange glow on
Eraser shavings—
Bones of dead problems—
That lay deserted
By a textbook,
An indecipherable tome.

x, where x is a prime number between 5 and 11

O diminutive Professor Le,
Why do you insult your class?
Do you not see how your convoluted
Whiteboard masks any meaning
You hope we glean from your lecture?


I know noble accents
Yours is not one of them.
It is thick
And prognosticates what is to come
In future lecture halls.


When the tests were passed out
They marked the end
Of one chapter.


At the sight of the exam
A mountain of paper
All the students
Cried out sharply.

∂/∂x (22xy) | x = y = 1/2

My grade floats on the water
In a leaking boat.
“You have A now,” he says.
“But wait till final.
“I make it so hard.”

48% of 25

The waters are moving.
I need a life preserver.


My evenings and my afternoons
Are spent in quiet solitude.
I sit with paper and my notes
Daring desperately to hope
That someone will come rescue me
From the horrors of Calc III.

A Hermeneutical Dissertation of Gaelic Revolutionary Poetry, Wherein the Authors Will Attempt to Fissiparously Explicate Its Form, Structure, and Sacred Significance in Order to Bring Greater Perspicacious Knowledge of Its Fuliginous Meaning unto Their Gentle Readers

(with all due credit to my most illustrious co-authors, Shin, Isabella, and Micah)

“Life is the sum of all your choices,” declared Albert Camus.  The epic poem “Rub-a-dub-dub” (The Norton Anthology) by Irish revolutionary A. Nony Mous luculently addresses deep themes concerning the plight of man.  With a tone that shifts from homoerotic, alluring, chartreuse, impassioned playfulness to awe, the poem uses various literary devices to illustrate the Irish Republican Army’s crusade against the rampant, ubiquitous, emasculating homosexuality amidst its ranks.

The poet masterfully weaves in a plethora of rhetorical devices, including, but not limited to, internal rhyme, anapestic meter, end-stopped lines, alliteration, grammar of irony, a rhetorical question, and allusion.  Internal rhyme is most prominent in the first line, which brilliantly declares, “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub” (1) to create a sense of lustful passion; the quick repetition of this near-close near-back rounded vowel that culminates in a voiced bilabial plosive induces a sense of urgency; like the sirens of Greek mythology, Mous draws the reader into a fanciful world of homosexual conceits; anapestic meter in the third line (see Appendix A) further reinforces the galloping nature; by no coincidence, every line terminates with a punctuation mark; alliteration augments the already apparent ambiguity and ambivalence of the association among the assemblage of amigos; the use of a semicolon clearly demonstrates Mous’ grasp of the irony that, while the IRA is condemning homosexuality within their ranks, they themselves long to be part of the heretical homosexual cult; the placement of a rhetorical question in line 2 illustrates man’s uncertainty over both his sexuality and his place in the world; finally, the poem alludes to Jonathan Swift’s first major work, “A Tale of a Tub” (The Norton Anthology) which chronicles the tale of three symbolic men and their battles with religious ambiguity.

Obviously rife with political propaganda, “Rub-a-dub-dub” epitomizes the revolutionary ideals of the terrorist group the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Like the “potato” in line 4, the IRA grew underground until its ideals were harvested by the political crusader who wrote this epic odyssey of man’s infinite struggle against the world’s overbearing injustices.  The potato in the poem, however, is “rotten” (line 4), symbolizing the corruption and hypocrisy of the IRA.  Potatoes, which grow beneath the earth, are directly connected to the concept of the Earth Mother. This clearly contrasts with the men in the tub whose search for identity implies an “amaterius” (a Latin word meaning “the state of being without a mother”), which is a manifestation of their lack of knowledge of their origin. Furthermore, the potato is a conceit that ties together the multitude of motifs in the poem—potatoes can be baked, as by a “baker” (line 3).

All three characters in the tub are symbolic—the “candlestick maker,” a phallic reference indicative of the sexual arousal triggered by the conglomeration of many men not asking and not telling within the army, is symbolic of the union of the three men in the tub. The “butcher,” who acts as a symbol of castration and emasculation, represents the hypocritical opposition to homosexuality within the army, for in reality, homosexuality is practiced by the opposition themselves. Finally, the “baker” kneads dough; “dough” is colloquial slang for “money”; as everyone knows, money is the root of all evil; therefore, the baker is evil; Satan is also evil; Satan lives in hell; hell is hot like an oven; the “baker” uses an oven; therefore, the “baker” represents a baker and proves beyond a reasonable doubt that all bakers are evil.

Only upon close analysis of this esoteric poem can its infinite profundity be revealed; there is no such thing as a simple poem.  Poetry analysis is vital to deriving the meaning of life from any and every poem.  This meaning can only be discovered by the extremely perspicacious, erudite scholar through innumerable hours of study, research, and meditation.  In the words of the great Greek philosopher Aristubanes, “What doth happen in the tub stayeth in the tub.”


Abrams, et al.  The Norton Anthology of English Literature.  New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974.

Appendix A

Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker;
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

– Mous, A. Nony. “Rub-a-dub-dub.”  The Norton Anthology of English Literature.  New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974.

Lo, My Milkshake Doth Bringeth all the Folk to My Domicile

Within this droll passage, I will relate the anecdote of my odyssey to a recreational area a scant eight furlongs from my domicile, regrettably not to Taumatawhakatang­ihangakoauauot­amateaturipukaka­pikimaunga­horonuku­pokaiwhenuak­itanatahu as I would have preferred it.  However, whosoever peruses this account should be forewarned that the jargon residing within it is so erudite, so esoteric, so utterly abstruse as to be incomprehensible to the ordinary lay person.  Concordantly, I concede that even I cannot entirely fathom its recondite message.  No qualms—you will not catch pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, but merely become bemused by the sophisticated (and often pedantic) terminology.  Anyone with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia should stay away, as there are virtually no monosyllabic words or those lacking a plethora of characters.

Without further ado, here lies the retelling of my momentous journey.

The day began auspiciously, as I was allowed to remain immersed in the blanket of sleep until late after the cock-crow.  When I did arise, my sibling and I departed on our venture and meandered gradually to the recreation area.  I was irked that the parental units would not allow us the honor of traveling in their internal combustion-powered metalloid/plastic transportation medium, although my ire was soon replaced with sanguinity upon reaching the park.

After enjoying the facilities for nigh upon an hour, my optimistic buoyancy gradually transformed into a phlegmatic stupor.  It was as if I only had zwischenzugs as I played Bobby Fisher, as if I could use my ocular organs to perceive a confectionary treat, but not extend my taste buds to partake in its delectability.

And lo, my entreaties were answered, for at that instant I espied a vendor of frozen confections trundling up the concrete walk.  While some immediately enter the floccinaucinihilipilification process when they observe cold lactose, my cognitive prowess allowed my to arrive at the realization that frozen milk sugar was precisely the item my banal escapade required to become fantastic.

“Hark, yon blue-collar, capitalist merchant-slave!” I exclaimed, “May I partake in thy frozen dairy treats?”

I promptly accosted the vendor and bequeathed upon him a singular dollar in exchange for my scrumptious dessert.

“By Jehovah!” I cried, “This is ridiculously, lusciously delicious!” I will save you the myriad extemporaneous details, save that the ice cream was, in sooth, completely flavorsome.  “By Jehovah!” I said again.

“Is it possible,” the vendor inquired, “for you to refrain from exulting your deity in my presence?”

“What?” I asked incredulously, “Are you a certain type of espouser of antidisestablishmentarianism? Because this nation is an uninhibited country!  You should be examined electroencephalographically!”

With that, I cast the frozen milk unto the earth and stormed off in indignation, while the merchant lugubriously pushed his cart of wares down the concrete, ringing a tinkling chime and sonorously proclaiming: “Frozen dairy confections! Come hither and obtain your frozen dairy confections!”

Sonnet #7

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
It would seem that the Bard hath said it the best,
A pickup line so full of love and zest—
And yet now it stands trite, a poor cliché

Overshadowed by the schoolyard cat calls
And wolf whistles the wind carries shrilly
Away—away—away, void entreaties
So far removed from Shakespeare’s sharpened schmaltz.

Instead of florid language that serves to
Obfuscate, we abbreviate. Words too
Dense are like enigmas, puzzles beyond
The sea of modern thought (more like a pond).
But what if we did talk in ornate prose?
What we were saying, not a soul would know.