Is this your favorite of moiself’s blog titles…or, perhaps not?
* * *
Department Of What Is It With The XY Chromosome And Spitting
Dateline: in my car; one day last week; returning from an errand in another city; stopped at a stoplight, behind one other vehicle. The driver of that vehicle opened his car’s door, leaned down and spat onto the road.
Fast forward: last Saturday, 7:30 AM-ish. Moiself was at the coast, going for walk on pedestrian path which parallels a road heading toward Neahkahnie State Park. A man riding a skateboard was going in the opposite direction; i.e., approaching me. As passed me he nodded in acknowledgment. His skateboard seemed to be going by rather fast, IMO, so as we passed each other I turned back to see if I could tell if he was atop one of those motorized boards. At that point he was about 20 feet behind me; I turned around just in time to see him spit huge gobs of…a white something …onto the road.
Now. Ahem. The two individuals cited here are not to meant represent all of male kind. They *are* emblematic of something moiself has noticed over the years: more than women (almost to the point of gender exclusivity), men are the ones who spit in public, and onto public surfaces.  From delicate white salivary droppings to gigantamous loogie hawkings, men expectorate in public with impunity. I never see women do this. What’s the deal?
I know for a fact that women also produce saliva, and get seasonal allergies, common colds, and other virus which cause post-nasal drip and thus instigate the accumulation of snot and saliva in the mouth and throat. But I never, ever, see women expel that goo (pardon my usage of complex medical terminology) in public. 
Are men just somehow, physiologically, more prone to producing copious amounts of body fluids which congregate in their oral cavities?
Or could it be as simple as, once again, nurture triumphs over nature? As in, women are raised to, both literally and metaphorically…uh…swallow everything.
* * *
Department Of Perhaps This Is Why Some Of My Neighbors Cross To The Other Side Of The Street When They See Me Out For My Morning Walk
Dateline: last Thursday, 7:30 am-ish. I am returning from a morning walk, rounding the corner, after having text-wished MH (and our cat, Nova) a pleasant drive to the coast. 
As I rounded the corner of a street two blocks from our house, I saw MH’s distinctive midlife crisis car convertible approaching the intersection about 20 feet in front of moiself. I waved; he pulled over to the curb; I walked up to his car; gave him a kiss; we briefly chatted.
As this was happening a woman I know by sight was returning from her morning walk with her dog. She passed by MH’s car just as he pulled away from the curb and I resumed walking. She gave me a knowing yet questioning look; her mouth opened slightly – for a moment I thought she was going to say, “Your husband?” It’s a good thing she didn’t, because I realized I would have blurted out, “No, but when I see a cute guy in an orange sports car, I think, why not take the opportunity?”
* * *
Department Of, On The Other Hand, *This* Podcast Was Excellent
The other hand refers to…
No, not that hand. I’ll start again.
The other hand refers to my blog of last week (May 12), in which I nit-picked about insightfully analyzed a (usually) favorite podcast of mine, whose guest on that particular episode I found so self-justifying and cluelessly annoying that I had to stop listening.
British Geometry Professor Hart is on a quest (as is Levitt) to reform math education. In their conversation she shared her interest in mathematics by explaining, for example, how patterns are everywhere, and how mathematical concepts and be found in the arts and literature as well as in the natural world.
Something moiself found the most compelling about their dialogue was when they got to the reformation of the way math has been taught for so/too long (my emphases).
“I had the mathematician, Steven Strogatz on the show, and he expressed frustration with the way we teach math to high school students…we tend to teach them all sorts of techniques for solving very specific problems that they will never ever be asked to solve anywhere but on a math exam. And the consequence is that almost everyone gets discouraged and in the end they conclude that they’re not a math person.
So…his idea is that we should move towards math appreciation courses like art appreciation — courses with the goal to show kids the wonder and the power of math applied to interesting, real-world problems with less emphasis on rote memorization.
And wow, did that conversation strike a nerve. I’ve never gotten such a flood of emails from listeners, hundreds of emails that are still coming in on a daily basis. And the only negative responses are from professional mathematicians…”
“I couldn’t love the idea any more. We do not need everybody to come out of school being able to do arcane stuff with trigonometry; they’re never going to need it. It’s going to put them off.”
“I’m good at maths and I enjoyed doing mathematical calculations, but even for me there were things that were not super interesting. And we don’t even motivate like why we’re doing it. Did you ever have a lesson in school where they said, ‘Why are we doing trigonometry?’ ”
Yes! Yes! Yes! Or should I write, No! No! No!, if Hart was implying that no one ever either poses or answers that question in a math class. I DID – I asked, many times. And I never got an answer.
I was a straight A student in all subjects, and in math from fractions and times tables through school Algebra 1 and Geometry. Unfortunately (this will be explained soon) with regard to math, in high school I was placed in what is now referred to as a Gifted and Talented program, but which in California schools at that time was called the MGM – “Mentally Gifted Minors” – program.
Mentally Gifted Minors ® that we were, we MGMers had a lot of fun mocking the acronym, our favorite pejorative being that MGM stood for Mother’s Greatest Mistake. Turned out the joke was on me, as taking my school’s MGM math courses was (one of) MGM – my greatest mistakes.
Before there was an MGM program, top students could take AA classes, which students were placed into by testing and/or teacher referral.  AA classes were offered in maths and social sciences, and continued to be offered at my high school after the MGM program was instituted. My younger sister, who had an almost instinctive interest in and aptitude for math, remembered my experience, and chose her classes accordingly. Although she took MGM classes in history and literature, she refused to participate in the MGM program for math, and instead took our school’s AA math classes. 
Once again, I digress.
There was only one teacher for my high school’s MGM math courses (Algebra 1; geometry; Algebra 2; trigonometry; advanced math [aka pre-calculus]). It was a mismatch from the start, between the MGM math teacher and moiself, in terms of personality, academic presentation, and just about everything else. I was totally capable of being taught by teachers whose styles bothered and/or annoyed me or whom I even actively disliked – I managed to learn from such teachers in classes both preceding and following the classes taught by That Certain MGM Math Teacher (TCMGMMT). However, despite the straight-A student thing, math – or in hindsight, the way math was *taught* – had always bored me.
By the time I was in second year algebra and then trigonometry, doing the assignments and/or studying the material for the sake of doing so was not cutting it for me. I wanted to know *why.* As in,
Why are we doing this – why does *anyone* do this? (And don’t just
repeat the “because: triangles” thing.)
What will we use it for, and when will we be required to do so?
When I asked questions in class, I was told not to disrupt class (and TCMGMMT often turned questions asked – by other students, not only moiself – around in a way to make fun of the student who’d asked the question. After observing this tactic of hers, I stopped asking questions).
One day I took time out of my busy high school academic and social calendar and scheduled an after-school appointment to meet with TCMGMMT, to raise my concerns. At that meeting (during which her discomfort was palpable), TCMGMMT actually told me that “it doesn’t matter *why* you are doing _____ (sine, tangent, and cosine functions, et al.). ” She advised me to essentially shut up and do the rote memorization and, “two years from now ,when you are in your college calculus class, this (trigonometry equations) will make sense.”
I effin’ kid you not.
Nope; sorry; wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. If I can’t make it interesting to me in the here and now it won’t interest me in some mythical, two-years-from-now class that I won’t be taking because I don’t need another thing frosting my ass with tediousness. I took TCMGMMT shutting me down as a convoluted way of admitting, “Yeah, this has nothing to do with your life (or that of most students), but this is the way we have always done it, so shut up and dance.”
Yet another digression:
About that “mythical class” I didn’t think I’d be taking: I actually took a calculus class in college, despite not being required to do so. In the spring quarter of my freshman year I took part one of a three quarter Calculus series – the B series, which was required for students majoring in certain sciences and engineering.  Although I hadn’t yet declared a major, I was one of those idealistic idiots scholars, who held that:
* Every student should take advantage of the richness and diversity of subjects offered at college!
* All students should strive to be well-rounded intellectually!
No, really. Stop laughing, you narrow-minded camel.
I sincerely believed  that, for example, physics majors should take a poetry class and literature majors should take a physics class. Many of my fellow students found it odd that, although I became a pre-law major  I also took classes in geology, physics, astronomy, wildlife fisheries and biology, and forestry. 
Moiself received an A in that calculus class. A dormmate, who somehow found out that fact, took it upon himself to mansplain lecture me as to why getting a top grade in my calculus class was “selfish” of me. With a totally straight and serious face he informed me that, since the class was graded on the curve, I was taking an A away from some “premed student who actually needs it,”  and since calculus wasn’t required *for* me, that A grade was “totally wasted” *on* me. 
Perhaps he was right, if only in a wee, mathematically insignificant way. Although I adored and respected the class’s professor I didn’t find the subject matter interesting (how I managed to get an A despite my FALLING ASLEEP DURING THE FINAL EXAM, I have no idea). And today, in 2023, if you held a calculus equation before my eyes and a gun to my head (and I really hope you are never tempted to do either of those things) and demanded, “Do this calculation or I’ll pull the trigger!” …well, one of us is going to prison.
I can, however, recall the lyrics to the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.
* * *
Freethinkers’ Thought Of The Week 
“Bowling might fulfill all the social needs that religious worship and ritual do, without being delusional, divisive, and repressive, occasionally ridiculous and all too often violent.
So, go bowling next week instead of attending church, temple, or mosque,
and have a good time.”
( William A. Zingrone, The Arrogance of Religious Thought )
* * *
May you pardon me for this week’s blog title;
May you find a reason (if you don’t already have one) to go bowling;
May you, in your ideal life, be able to solve a differential equation AND sing about unsuspecting future castaways going on “♫ a three hour cruise…♫ ”;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 It looked like he was a gull, crapping through its mouth.
 On the road, on public transportation vehicle floors – i.ee., not into their handkerchiefs. Which no one seems to carry anymore but I remember when the Old Folks ® did.
 I am trying oh-so-hard to come up with *one* example to contradict my memory…I realize this is anecdotal, not scientific.
 In response to receiving his text that he was departing soon; I joined him the next day.
 and/or past performances/GPS in the subject…I’m not really sure how it was determined.
 In which she excelled, and she received a mathematics scholarship for college.
 The A series Calculus was required for mathematics and physics majors.
 And still do, mostly.
 I graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice.
 My biggest academic regret is not taking a tractor driving class. UC Davis offered such a class, for one credit (like what you’d get for taking a PE class), but I could never make it fit between my academic and work schedule.
 Can you guess what his major was?
 Totally wasted was the description moiself found applicable to that student’s demeanor and mindset, on most weekends in the dorms (he ended up transferring to a college with a less rigorous academic environment).
 “free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” Definition courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, ffrf.org