Sunday, November 18, 2007

quiz answers

Here are the answers to yesterday's algebra quiz.

First. Indulge my confession. I'm not a substitute teacher and I don't write for television although I've been accused of doing both. Poorly, I might add. You know what they say. Those who don't And those who don't write for

Except me. I gave them up. First the teaching. Then the television. The teaching was easier. You think you're reaching them, the rapt attention, those doleful looks, like a meeting with producers but then you realize it's all a feint. They just want to go back to the iPod, the re-runs, the dvds. You want to change the world.

I've quit them all - the smokes, the drink, the drugs. Losing tv was the most difficult. More painful than you can imagine but ultimately just another step in the recovery. And yes, the first step was the hardest.

The 27-inch monitor was wrestled from the mantle and somehow I managed to get it out the door without wrenching the back, dropped it just once on the way to the curb. The corner of the case cracked, but the guts held. Those analogs, they don't make em like that anymore. Once on the curb, I walked back inside and in 15 minutes, 15 MINUTES, it had disappeared from the curb and I stepped into a new life, a new medium.

Life's been simpler since then. The house rarely, if ever, quiet. The radio, always on. It's presence like your dog or the neighbor's child, interrupting only occasionally for a treat, content to be steadfast, inquisitive, and unobtrusive. None of that talk-radio-sports-junkie bullshit either. No. Music. Or NPR. Something that will hold a conversation together during dinner. "What's the true meaning of Lost?", works fine for a luncheon salad, but for the 3-course prix fixe dinner you'll need something with more substance, like deconstructing the New Pornographers latest effort or the solution to the Weekend Edition Puzzle.

True, I'd embraced the old medium WHOLE-HEARTED. So then, "how could I leave it?" Funny to hear that term, isn't it - the OLD medium. It still appears to be everywhere. The ads, the intimate chats. Our friends. We loved them like family. More so, they were less critical and better looking than family. Who can live with silence these days? Without stars? Without the season finale, the all-new episode? Life without hope. Without television. Please. Please. Don't make me read.

But I did. I turned to books for solace. And read. In reading, I found a bit of hope that had seemed to have gone from the world. I read everything. Pulp to history to poetry and back again. It was like going to the theater after a long absence. At first it seems a construct. Too many words. Too much space between them. Soon though, the words begin to spill into the room, past the coffee, turning Noah Adams into a songbird in the backyard. That life, remember it? It's out there. Just turn the page.

The answer is simple, just like the debates, like a reality show. You'll kick yourself when you realize how easy it is.

First. Hillary and Barack cross the stage.
Barack, in second, stays. Hillary, the front-runner returns. 3 minutes have passed.
Next. John Edwards and Kucinich cross. Ten minutes pass. Like an eternity.
Four minutes before the world ends. The tension rises. Cut to close-up of bomb. 13:00, 13:01, 13:02...Wolf can be seen smirking in the wings. He'll make himself a martyr to this cause.

Wait. Bararck seizes the moment, attempts to take the FLICKERING CANDLE OF HOPE from Edwards. They struggle. Kuncinich shouts, "Peace!". Hillary, "stop the in-fighting!" The struggle continues. The candle slips and begins it SLOW MOTION fall to the floor. Barack lunges and catches it midair. Looks down at his hand. The flame has gone out! the wick is smodering. No! NO! Slowly Barack begins to breath on it, gently at first, then deeper, and yes, YES, the FLICKERING CANDLE OF HOPE comes back to life. Again it burns.

Barack hurries back across the stage, Hillary throws her arms around him and they triumphantly march onto the stage and take their places just before the clock hits 17:00. The lights go up, Wolf, dejected, turns to the camera and says stoically, "Tonight's debate is coming to you live from....

m.o.i.algebraic word problem spells world doom

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