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#1 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend of the family used to be an elementary school teacher. She taught for 33 years and says she loved every minute of it, except for the parts she complains about!
Anyway, my mom loaned her the book The DaVinci code. She said she couldn't get into it, that it was dull. Then she said that honestly she thinks reading is boring. This is not the kind of person I want influencing my children's reading habits. How on earth could reading be boring???
She tutors middle school kids in math now but can't estimate percentage discounts when she's out shopping.
How do these people get to be teachers?

Suzy

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#2 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Oh wow. She taught ELEMENTARY School and thinks reading is BORING!

That is downright SCARY!!!


As for the estimating sale prices, seriously? Maybe things have changed since she was teaching, y aknow, before they had math, and books.

weird.
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#3 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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I am an elementary school teacher and I LOVE reading. You probably shouldn't teach elementary if you don't at least like it, because that's a pretty hard thing to fake.

As far as the math tutoring goes, I think it's fine that she can't estimate percentages. I assume if she had to teach a student how to do that then she'd learn.

I have no problem telling my students that there are some things I don't know how to do. While I have a certain curriculum I have to teach them, I think that my main job is to keep them interested in questioning and learning.

Sorry to crash your forum! I read here, though, because HS'ing is an option I might pursue one day (ds is only 10 months now).

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#4 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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As far as the math tutoring goes, I think it's fine that she can't estimate percentages. I assume if she had to teach a student how to do that then she'd learn.
I can't believe a middle school math tutor doesn't ever have to do percentages.
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#5 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mallory
I can't believe a middle school math tutor doesn't ever have to do percentages.
Yes, I agree with that. I guess my reaction to the whole issue is that teachers can learn and subsequently teach concepts but can't convey a passion if they don't possess it themselves.

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#6 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by trini
As far as the math tutoring goes, I think it's fine that she can't estimate percentages. I assume if she had to teach a student how to do that then she'd learn.
Wow. This is something I do at least weekly, to figure out sale prices or tips. It's not something like, oh, solving a quadratic function (which I also think is fun but which you don't encounter often in day-to-day life). IMO, someone who can't do this is not truly comfortable with how numbers work - she doesn't speak the language of mathematics - and so I don't see how she can impart this familiarity to others...

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#7 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero
A friend of the family used to be an elementary school teacher. She taught for 33 years and says she loved every minute of it, except for the parts she complains about!
Anyway, my mom loaned her the book The DaVinci code. She said she couldn't get into it, that it was dull. Then she said that honestly she thinks reading is boring. This is not the kind of person I want influencing my children's reading habits. How on earth could reading be boring???
She tutors middle school kids in math now but can't estimate percentage discounts when she's out shopping.
How do these people get to be teachers?

Suzy
Unfair to judge that book just plain sucks!:
I'll bet she enjoys reading other books.
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#8 of 47 Old 06-10-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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Unfair to judge that book just plain sucks!:
I'll bet she enjoys reading other books.
You are not clear?? She's talking about the "reading is boring" part rather than the person's opinion of the DaVinci code. Well, I guess also the possibility that the only reason the person didn't find the DaVinci Code interesting appears to be that she thinks reading is boring. Kwim?
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#9 of 47 Old 06-11-2006, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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These are just two recent examples. Her overall attitude is so bad about learning. She thinks getting her daily automated horoscope emailed to her counts as reading. I just don't understand how people can think they are teaching kids anything when they have these kinds of attitudes. I know that she can't be the only one like this.
About percentages-I think that's pretty basic, everyday stuff. A teacher shouldn't have to re-learn this. It's not like it's an uncommon skill. She should be using it all them time. She has no clue how much something is going to cost if it's, say, 20% off. I'm not talking exact numbers here, just rough estimates.
I just can't get over that she was a teacher for 33 years. She was paid very well for all those years, she's still collecting retirement from the county, and she doesn't know such basic skills. What are we paying these people to do, anyway?
No public school for us, no way!
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#10 of 47 Old 06-11-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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I agree the enthusiasm in school is in need of a boost by most teachers but it is not that scary that a teacher doesn't like to read for pleasure maby she is a people person and likes to talk....I have met many teachers like that some even have trouble concentrating and staying on task! Just being positive this morning!

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#11 of 47 Old 06-11-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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I went to school with hundreds of elementary education teachers, and all I can say is this: I'm not remotely surprised.

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#12 of 47 Old 06-11-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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My DH's best friend doesn't like to read. He never reads for pleasure, and only reads what is necessary for work, etc. He watches movies and plays video games for fun. I don't think he even reads news online much.

He certainly isn't a school teacher, though! He's in sales.

As for not being able to figure percentages...I'd hate to be the server that woman tips badly! And how does she ever know if she's being overcharged?

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#13 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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My dh doesn't really like to read; he thought about becoming a (high school) teacher when he was in uni. He's smart and did very well in school, can write very well, has a large vocabulary, etc. He just has a hard time sitting and reading. He likes watching "educational" tv shows about history and big machines and such. I don't think his problem with reading is that it's boring, though; I think he feels like there are so many things that need to be done that if he has the energy to sit and read, he should be doing them instead, whereas when he's sitting and watching tv, he's too tired even to read He has read more in the last few weeks than he did throughout high school; we've started reading the Harry Potter books out loud and he'll sit and read for a couple of hours in the evening. I just about fell over when he offered to read and then started doing it regularly. He also reads slowly, and I think that frustrates him. I read faster than he does, and I get frustrated when I'm reading an interesting/exciting part of a book out loud, because it's so s-l-o-w.

I agree that overall, the level of voluntary illiteracy in our society is alarming; at the same time, I can see on an individual level that not everyone who doesn't read is scary.

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#14 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 01:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero
A friend of the family used to be an elementary school teacher. She taught for 33 years and says she loved every minute of it, except for the parts she complains about!
Anyway, my mom loaned her the book The DaVinci code. She said she couldn't get into it, that it was dull. Then she said that honestly she thinks reading is boring. This is not the kind of person I want influencing my children's reading habits. How on earth could reading be boring???
She tutors middle school kids in math now but can't estimate percentage discounts when she's out shopping.
How do these people get to be teachers?

Suzy
Because most teachers come from the lowest quartile of standardized test-takers in college (the standardized tests in question being the Praxis tests and the SATs). In short, the average P.E. major is probably a brighter bulb than your average teacher.

Oh, but FWIW, I thought DVC was boring too, but that's because I thought it was a simplistic version of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I also figured out "that lead character" was descended from "that important figure" by page 56, so it really wasn't a big thrill. Sorry if I sound like a book snob. I love to read, but most fiction just annoys me, so I stick to nonfiction.
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#15 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mallory
I can't believe a middle school math tutor doesn't ever have to do percentages.
She apparently never buys things on sale or eats at restaurants.
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#16 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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I went to school with hundreds of elementary education teachers, and all I can say is this: I'm not remotely surprised
My old elementary school and high school has teachers now that I went to school with. These teachers were not great students. They weren't the ones in the higher math courses or AP classes.

I think many people choose to go into teaching because it is an easy field to get into plus you have weekends and summers off.

There are some teachers out there that are incredibly passionate and dedicated to kids learning and are great teachers. But sadly there are too many teachers that aren't very good teachers and role models.
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#17 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero
Anyway, my mom loaned her the book The DaVinci code. She said she couldn't get into it, that it was dull. Then she said that honestly she thinks reading is boring. This is not the kind of person I want influencing my children's reading habits. How on earth could reading be boring???
She tutors middle school kids in math now but can't estimate percentage discounts when she's out shopping.
Actually she could be a better tutor if math doesn't come too easily to her. When I was in college, I had a professor for whom things were very intuitive, and it was awful. He had NO IDEA how to explain how or why to do things. She may do fine figuring percentages on paper.

I'm a reader, but most movies bore me, and that baffles movie-lovers I know.

ZM
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#18 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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You think that's bad - my mom is a fifth-grade math teacher, and when she used to type up notes for the other teachers to send home with their classes (back in the days when not everyone had a computer), she had to correct the grammar of the English teacher. This teacher didn't know the difference between "their," "they're" and "there"! And she put apostrophes before the "s" in plurals. I am not kidding - I was in grade school myself and I was absolutely shocked.

I don't want to malign all teachers, because some of them are smart, wonderful people like my mom who know their subjects and care about teaching kids. But the other ones are out there too.
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#19 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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I can't believe a middle school math tutor doesn't ever have to do percentages.
I gotta be really transparent here....
I cannot figure percentages.

If you say " 30% of the people do xyz".... I get that. I know what percent means... "of 100". I get an image in my head of a circle with pie wedges.

If you say "That dress is 15% off today !! " I have no idea how to figure it. At all. I've tried. I've been taught. It just doesn't stick. Or if you tell me "A generous tip is 20% of the bill"...I can't figure that.

Which is why my dh ...who has a passion for all things numbers...teaches the children math.

I agree though...that a math teacher should understand the concept before teaching a child.
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#20 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zeldamomma
Actually she could be a better tutor if math doesn't come too easily to her. When I was in college, I had a professor for whom things were very intuitive, and it was awful. He had NO IDEA how to explain how or why to do things. She may do fine figuring percentages on paper.
Not if she doesn't know how to do it at all. I know someone who worked as a substitute teacher and would call my mother to get help with math answers for 5th and 6th graders. He didn't know how to do it himself, how was he supposed to teach someone else how to do it?

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#21 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jen123
I

If you say "That dress is 15% off today !! " I have no idea how to figure it. At all. I've tried. I've been taught. It just doesn't stick. Or if you tell me "A generous tip is 20% of the bill"...I can't figure that.
You can always figure 10% by moving a the decimal point one to the left. So, 10% of 70would be 7.0, or 7. If you're just estimating, you can round to the nearest whole number, so 10% of 63 = 6.3, so you round to 6.

If you can find 10%, you can find estimate other percents. To find 20%, find 10% and double it. To find 15%, find 10%, take half of that (5%) and then add 10% and 5%. For something like 29%, find 10%, triple it, and then take a little less.

I got a handout from the summer school coordinator in our ditrict titled: "Para's - Welcome" last week. I wanted to cry...

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#22 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 10:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trini
teachers can learn and subsequently teach concepts
It is funny. That is almost exactly what I tell people who question my qualifications to teach certain subjects.
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#23 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jen123
I gotta be really transparent here....
I cannot figure percentages.

If you say " 30% of the people do xyz".... I get that. I know what percent means... "of 100". I get an image in my head of a circle with pie wedges.

If you say "That dress is 15% off today !! " I have no idea how to figure it. At all. I've tried. I've been taught. It just doesn't stick. Or if you tell me "A generous tip is 20% of the bill"...I can't figure that.

Which is why my dh ...who has a passion for all things numbers...teaches the children math.

I agree though...that a math teacher should understand the concept before teaching a child.
I was a cocktail waitress. I can do fifteen percent of anything. It's really easy.

All you have to remember is that all numbers can be broken down into chunks of 10%, 5%, and 1%.

Ten percent is the easiest. You move the decimal to the left.

For example: If your restaurant bill comes to $267.44, ten percent of that is what you get when you move Mr. Decimal: $26.744, or (more basically), $26.74.

Some more examples:

Ten percent of $358.33 = $35.833 (or $35.83)
Ten percent of $1,999,786.00 = $19,997,860.00

Once you have ten percent, it's really easy to find one percent. Just move the decimal over one more time to the left.

Ten percent of $358.33 = $35.833 (or $35.83)
One percent of $358.33 = $3.5833 (or $3.58)

Ten percent of $10.00 = $1.00
One percent of $10.00 = .10 cents

Once you have ten percent, it's also easy to find five percent. Just cut your 10% figure in half, because five is half of ten.

Ten percent of $562.24 = $56.224 (or $56.22)
Five percent of $56.22 = $28.11

Ten percent of $10.00 = $1.00
Five percent of $10.00 = .50 cents.

To get fifteen percent - Take ten percent. Cut it in half. Add it to the original ten percent.

Fifteen percent of $10.00 =
Ten percent ($1.00) plus five percent (.50 cents) equals $1.50.

To get other percents (like, let's say, seventeen percent)

Ten percent
PLUS
Five percent
PLUS
One percent
PLUS
One percent.

17% of $10.00 =
Ten percent ($1.00) plus
Five percent (.50 cents) plus
One percent (one cent) plus
One percent (one cent)
=$1.52

Hope that helps. It's much easier than they taught you in school.
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#24 of 47 Old 06-12-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I was a cocktail waitress. I can do fifteen percent of anything. It's really easy.

All you have to remember is that all numbers can be broken down into chunks of 10%, 5%, and 1%.

Ten percent is the easiest. You move the decimal to the left.

For example: If your restaurant bill comes to $267.44, ten percent of that is what you get when you move Mr. Decimal: $26.744, or (more basically), $26.74.

Some more examples:

Ten percent of $358.33 = $35.833 (or $35.83)
Ten percent of $1,999,786.00 = $19,997,860.00

Once you have ten percent, it's really easy to find one percent. Just move the decimal over one more time to the left.

Ten percent of $358.33 = $35.833 (or $35.83)
One percent of $358.33 = $3.5833 (or $3.58)

Ten percent of $10.00 = $1.00
One percent of $10.00 = .10 cents

Once you have ten percent, it's also easy to find five percent. Just cut your 10% figure in half, because five is half of ten.

Ten percent of $562.24 = $56.224 (or $56.22)
Five percent of $56.22 = $28.11

Ten percent of $10.00 = $1.00
Five percent of $10.00 = .50 cents.

To get fifteen percent - Take ten percent. Cut it in half. Add it to the original ten percent.

Fifteen percent of $10.00 =
Ten percent ($1.00) plus five percent (.50 cents) equals $1.50.

To get other percents (like, let's say, seventeen percent)

Ten percent
PLUS
Five percent
PLUS
One percent
PLUS
One percent.

17% of $10.00 =
Ten percent ($1.00) plus
Five percent (.50 cents) plus
One percent (one cent) plus
One percent (one cent)
=$1.52

Hope that helps. It's much easier than they taught you in school.


That is SO cool.
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#25 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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That is very cool . Thank you Dar and Charles. I gotta be honest though...all those numbers had my head spinning.

It does seem a lot easier than it did in school too. I'll work on it later with figures from the Walmart circular I got earlier today in the mail.


Sob story ahead:

I think I have a serious math complex because of the way I was treated in math class. All my math classes it was the same story. My earliest memory was third grade during a simple review. I was having trouble adding anything with the number 9 in it. Even simple equations... 9 + 6 = ? . Then it occured to me (remember I was eight years old) that if I add ten than take away one from the answer I was getting the same answer as the rest of the kids. It worked!
Until the teacher said "Jenni, what is 9+6 ?" And I said "Um....15 ! ".
"Very good Jenni...and how did you get that answer ?".

" I added 10+6 and got sixteen. SO since 10 is one more than 9 , I took one away from the answer to get 15. I have trouble adding nines."

"Jenni ! That's not the way to do it . You did it wrong."

"But I got the right answer."

"Yes it's the right answer , but you went about it the wrong way."

And so started a lengthy 'career' of doubting my answers and any 'special' way I made math easier for myself.
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#26 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 07:36 PM
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But that's such a wonderful way to do it! The easiest way, IMO. I think you're a closet math-genius, myself... playing with numbers like that is way people who truly "get" numbers do math. I'm sorry your teacher messed you up... she was probably someone who didn't truly get the way numbers worked, and so wasn't comfortable with the way you manipulated them.

You needed Miquon as a child, I think....

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#27 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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everyone has weaknesses. elementary teachers are not experts in every field they teach, nor are they passionate about every field they teach. homeschooling parents are not all passionate about every subject their child might be interested in.

If I don't know something, it's a good learning experience for all of us to figure it out together. teachers and homeschoolers are learners too.

I don't think it's realistic to expect every teacher and every homeschooling parent to love to read. He or she might have a passion for something else. Teachers/parents are not clones and don't need to be.

As for teachers coming from the lowest ranks-- well, there are a lot of districts working hard to change that. Many districts (especially inner city) are developing programs to attract the brightest college students from ivy league and similar schools. There are a lot of progressive teachers working to change the stereotype and working to make teaching all about teaching children how to THINK.

please excuse the run-on sentence. it's 2 weeks until the end of the school year, i don't have the energy to fix it. :

(and i'll ignore the "weekends and summers off" comment b/c it's just so hilariously untrue)
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#28 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
You can always figure 10% by moving a the decimal point one to the left. So, 10% of 70would be 7.0, or 7. If you're just estimating, you can round to the nearest whole number, so 10% of 63 = 6.3, so you round to 6.

If you can find 10%, you can find estimate other percents. To find 20%, find 10% and double it. To find 15%, find 10%, take half of that (5%) and then add 10% and 5%. For something like 29%, find 10%, triple it, and then take a little less.
dar
That is exactly how I do it. I'm not brillant with numbers but it gets the job done enough for what I need.
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#29 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
But that's such a wonderful way to do it! The easiest way, IMO. I think you're a closet math-genius, myself... playing with numbers like that is way people who truly "get" numbers do math. I'm sorry your teacher messed you up... she was probably someone who didn't truly get the way numbers worked, and so wasn't comfortable with the way you manipulated them.

You needed Miquon as a child, I think....

dar
I would have LOVED Miquon, speaking for myself. I was soooooo pissed when I figured out how easy percents were that I couldn't believe it -- WHY did they waste our time with that x/100 times 43 or whatever it was? Like you can really do that when you're holding a full tray of tequila shooters.
Charles Baudelaire is offline  
#30 of 47 Old 06-13-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Like you can really do that when you're holding a full tray of tequila shooters.
Some of my best math comes after drinking a tray of tequila shooters.
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