Professors as Tech SupportWritten 8 June 1996So I'm working the Calculussupport phone line, and someone calls in. *RING RING* Me: "Calculus consulting, can I help you?" Student: "Hi, I have this curve, and I want to find the area under it, but it's not working!" Me: "What happens when you try?" Student: "It's just not working!" Me: <sigh> "OK, let's start from the beginning. What happens when you try to integrate the curve?" Student: "Integrate? I don't know. Integrate?" Me: "Have you read the textbook, sir?" Student: "No. All I want to do is find the area under the curve!" Me: "The information on how to do that should be in your textbook. Why don't you try reading it and call me back if you still can't figure it out." Student: "But I lost my textbook!" Me: <groan> "OK, well, you should really try and get another copy; there's only so much I can do over the phone. But I'll see what I can do. What's the equation of your curve?" Student: "What's an equation?" Me: "Well, in this case, it's a symbolic representation of the curve, usually using a cartesian system with x representing the distance along the horizontal axis and y the distance along the vertical. Sir, have you taken algebra?" Student: "Algebra? No. What's that?" Me: "Well I'm sorry, sir, but you really can't use calculus unless you already have algebra." Student: "But all I want to do is [etc.]" This was something random written by Jacob Haller. To see another random thing, click here. To get a permanent link to this particular random thing, click here. 

