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December 5, 2009 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Eminem's "Lose Yourself" re-envisioned as a high school math course. The math and film departments of Madison East High School collaborate on a video, starring math teacher Philip Galarowicz. Not to be confused with The Rappin' Mathematician (hear "The Number Line Dance" here), or these high school math rappers, or the rap battle of TI-83 and Fitty Slope. The quadratic formula, rapped. The quadratic formula, rapped again. The quadratic formula, rapped, strangely compellingly, by a teacher in a tie.
posted by escabeche (28 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This meme of "people rapping who you would never expect to see rapping" is getting a little old, I have to say.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:58 PM on December 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


But can you rap the cubic formula?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2009


Tartaglia wrote the original version of cubic formula in rhymed verse, so I'm thinking yes.
posted by escabeche at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next you'll tell me you can rap the quartic formula. But there's absolutely no way you can rap the quintic formula.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:14 PM on December 5, 2009


He needs to ditch math class and work on his flows.
posted by naju at 2:21 PM on December 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This meme of "people rapping who you would never expect to see rapping" is getting a little old, I have to say.


No, you don't have to say.
posted by Neiltupper at 2:22 PM on December 5, 2009


Man, that would actually be good if he was bringing the fire and not rapping in a monotone : [
posted by palidor at 2:43 PM on December 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


So, is this the point where I go all negative and link to studies about how rap is ruining our young math students? 'cuz that's what I usually do!
posted by HuronBob at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2009


This meme of "people rapping who you would never expect to see rapping" is getting a little old, I have to say.

Perhaps true, but the people featured in the videos are not to blame. They're just having fun in school. The criminals are the people who gather and spread the videos.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:11 PM on December 5, 2009


That's my town! Those are my nerds!
posted by Madamina at 3:18 PM on December 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Agreed. The meme itself is wearing a bit thin, but that last video somehow seemed very... real to me.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:52 PM on December 5, 2009


I get a little embarrassed when teachers try so hard to be cool
posted by woodway at 4:14 PM on December 5, 2009


I get a little embarrassed when teachers try so hard to be cool

It's not about being cool. It's about trying to get students interested in school and learning.
posted by jmd82 at 4:31 PM on December 5, 2009


I think that it's more that rap is so pervasive and has beena round so long now that anyone younger than 35 is a fair candidate to be rapping.
posted by cmoj at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2009


Or really, anyone at all.

Did people think it was weird and tiresome when young kids were into folk in the early 60's and stuff? (I'm asking, not making a point.)
posted by cmoj at 4:55 PM on December 5, 2009


Rap might be pervasive in US culture now, at least in certain parts of the country, but it's not a standard teaching method -- which makes it attention-grabbing. Good! Enthusiasm is contagious, and mnemonic devices work. It's cool that the teachers care so much and go to such lengths to convey their passion for the material. These teachers might listen to rap, might not. I don't think that's the point. The lyrics get intentionally silly, and the students in he last link are certainly laughing with the teacher... but maybe a little at the idea of him rapping, too. Does he care? Nope, probably not. He wants them to learn, and so do I.
posted by woodway at 5:04 PM on December 5, 2009


What people don't get is that bad rapping doesn't get the kids interested. Where this falls down, like a lot of other attempts, is that this guy is missing completely the art of that song- Eminem does a great job of building tension into a crescendo as part of the song. "All I have to do is rhyme!" is like saying all you have to do in soccer is run.

Have some Blackalicious Chemistry Calisthetics instead.
posted by yeloson at 5:33 PM on December 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


My name's DU and I hafta say
the incongruous rap meme is played
posted by DU at 5:37 PM on December 5, 2009


Dude. I got rhythm, I got music, I got bad rap -- who could want to hear anymore?
posted by woodway at 5:59 PM on December 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU, meet Mr. Duey. Rapping math teacher, yo.
posted by tizzie at 6:04 PM on December 5, 2009


hmmm
what does Eminem teach?
Rapper Eminem cleverly avoids using the word "faggots" in his new song "Elevator" when referring to Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken, replacing it with the words "fake it's":

"Eminem Sorry Lance, Mr. Lambert and Aiken ain't gonna make it
They get so mad, when I call them both fake it's
All these f@#king voices in my head I can't take it
Someone shut that f@#king baby up, 'for I shake it
You're standing adjacent to Jason's last slut, they're facing
Together makes 'em, a f@#king bad combination
I lashed at the doctor in my last operation
Shoved the weiner snitzel up his ass, hopped away some-
body please stop the patient, get the cops to mase him"


Phonetically, it sounds just like "faggots" and considering his anti-gay troubles in the past, there is no doubt in most peoples minds what the intention was, and that's to stir publicity and pr drama at the expense of the gay community.

These lyrics peretrate hatred, fear and violence against sexual minorities and cannot be tolerated!
posted by halekon at 6:17 PM on December 5, 2009


Awwwww, yeaaaaa, Madison REPRAZENT
posted by thanotopsis at 6:55 PM on December 5, 2009


Eminem has also been used as a form of torture.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:11 PM on December 5, 2009


What people don't get is that bad rapping doesn't get the kids interested.

On its own, you're correct. But, that is not the point. Rather, it's the students being involved in creating a video to a song they all know. Add to that the students probably working on the math concepts that are written and stated throughout the video that is supposed to get them involved.
posted by jmd82 at 7:40 PM on December 5, 2009


Blackalicious was great.
posted by flippant at 11:48 PM on December 5, 2009


Blackalicious was great, but Gift of Gab does stay busy; he just released a new album a couple weeks ago. All those Quannum and Solesides guys intermingle, so there's a ton of stuff that's at least kindablackalicious.
posted by hypersloth at 12:00 AM on December 6, 2009


I really wish someone would take Lili Taylor's anti-man speeches from I Shot Andy Warhol, put them over some dope beats, and trying to market "MC Valerie" to stations that play Mr. Mathers. Just to see how they'd react.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:21 AM on December 6, 2009


I think the rapper is a student, not the teacher. I went to school with the teacher (Daniel Torres) who is credited as the author. For the curious, he's got a cameo at 1:05 in the lower left.

In my experience, jmd82 is right that making the video (instead of bad rapping) is what engages the kids. My problem is that it doesn't really engage them in any meaningful mathematical thinking. On the other hand, it usually does get them more on-board with whatever else you might ask them to do in your math class, and student buy-in can make a big difference.

All that said, my pet peeve is propagating the idea that math is mostly about rote symbol manipulation. I'm probably over sensitive about it, but the message I got from this video is that if you want to be hardcore you've gotta train by practicing applying the quadratic formula. If you work hard, one day you too may be able to perform rapid, error-free algebraic manipulations like the experts. uf.
posted by mathtime! at 5:10 AM on December 6, 2009


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