Saturday, July 01, 2006

What's a Histogram?

Kids say the darnedest things.

One of the pleasures of helping out with the sailing classes this week was chatting with the kids and hearing their conversations with each other. I don't often hang out with 11-year-olds these days and I had forgotten how interesting they are at that age. Trying on different roles and characters. Wanting to fit in with the their peers but each one unique too.

The girls with their excited chatter, high-pitched, hyper-ventilating voices, "... and I was like ohmigod and she was like falling out of the boat and the boat was like so right on its side and I was like ohmigod I'm so going to fall in and it was like so wet and..."

And the boys trying to sound grown-up and tough and cool and smart, jousting by lobbing Your Momma jokes at each other, but not inventive enough to come up with really sharp one-liners so it always came out something lame like, "Your Mom's bald." Huh?

At the lunch break the head instructor asked the kids whether they had any questions arising from the morning's practice on the water. There were a few questions about the usual stuff like getting stuck in irons and then one boy put his hand up and asked, "What's a histogram?"

Without pausing to think as to what this had to do with sailing or anything that had been said before, the instructor launched into a long answer. "That's a great question. A histogram is a special kind of graph used when you want to show how many things fall into certain ranges. It uses bars and the height of each bar to indicate how many things are in each range. By the way in real life I'm a geometry teacher so you asked the right person. Let's say for example that you wanted to make a chart showing how many kids in this group were various heights... and so on and so on ... and on and on ... blah bah blah..."

After about five minutes he paused for breath and I took the opportunity to jump in and ask the boy who had asked the question why he wanted to know. He pointed at his friend and explained, "He said, 'Your Momma's a histogram.'"

I guess it could have been worse.


Fuff said...


Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHA...I'm a math teacher. That was a GOOD one!

Anonymous said...

Haha, "Your mamas a histogram" thats hilarious. HAHAHAHA

Post a Comment