So in my soshuved class last night we were talking about standardized testing. Stop yawning, this will get interesting. One of the concerns with standardized testing is that teachers might just "teach to the test" - meaning they only teach what will be on the test, not knowledge in general.
"For example," my prof said, "Imagine if a 5th grade teacher knows that irregular polynomials have never been on the standardized test, only regular polynomials. So the teacher decides not to teach irregular polynomials at all, only regular polynomials."
And then she posed this earnest and sincere question. "Don't our students deserve to know about all polynomials, both regular and irregular?"
I did not feel that was the time to raise my hand and ask what in the HECK a polynomial was, and if eating more fibre was the difference between a regular and an irregular one.
So I drifted. In my mind, I changed the spelling to poly-gnomials, which of course is the proliferation of garden gnomes on one's neighbour's property. (As I am not a fan of garden gnomes, they aren't allowed on my property.) Regular poly-gnomials of course have little beards and hats, and look friendly, if out of place. Irregular ones are missing a foot, but the property owner got a real deal, so they're camouflaging the missing appendage with a mini rose bush.
While I drifted, the prof paused again.
"To be honest," she said, "I'm not sure what polynomials would be used for in real life anyway...."
That's a relief. You know, since I'm living a mostly real life, and was wondering if I was in trouble.