It’s Obvious

Yes, I know it’s not Sunday. But this is too brief to hold back.

According to the Daily Mail (16th July 2018) lecturers at Bath University have been instructed not to use the term “as you know” to students, which could make students feel at fault for not knowing. This is seen as being an example of the fragility of the ‘snowflake generation’.

I do not feel qualified to comment on such language, coming as I do from more robust academic times. I do wonder if there is a basic body of knowledge that students should be expected to know, depending on context.

However, this does remind me of a very good old story about a mathematics tutor. He was giving a lecture one day, chalked something on the blackboard, then said:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is obvious”.

He stopped and looked again at the equation.

At least, I think it’s obvious.”

He grabbed pencil and paper, then disappeared. After a short interval, he came back, beaming, and said:

Yes, it is obvious.”

This probably says more about mathematics than lecturers and students. But it has the ring of truth about it.

It's Obvious

For your pleasure, the caption to this non-copyright picture reads:

Here is more obvious that the boundary is the union of two Mö-bands along the two borders of the vertical annulus.”

Of course.


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