God Rest You Merry, Math Teachers

Silly Verse Series, 1/?

I happened to find a document of my old poetry, from late elementary school to early university, and convert it from WordPerfect to cruder and less refined programs that modern computers can actually read. My love poetry of the time shall never again see the light of day, but I am still rather fond of the silly verse. Here is a pastiche appropriate to the season (both the Christmas season and the exam season), inspired by what “let nothing you dismay” would actually mean, and by the events of my high school years up to autumn of grade 12. (It ended up being published in the yearbook of my high school graduating year.)

All examples are based on real events.

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God rest you merry, math teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can write or say,
From “seven times seven is fourteen” to limits gone astray…
All you ask is for equations to be true and defined,
And for all the equals signs to be aligned.

God rest you merry, English teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can write or say,
In rules of grammar and common sense that students disobey…
All you ask is that commas go in their proper place
And that Hamlet’s not misquoted to his face.

God rest you merry, language teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can write or say,
From misspellings to brutal forms of passé composé
All you ask is not to use vocab whose meaning is in doubt
And to at least get what the story was about.

God rest you, social science teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can write or say,
From “where is the Atlantic?” to a thesis-less essay…
All you ask is for a clear, logical and balanced view
And for all the facts to be confirmed and true.

God rest you merry, science teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can write or say,
From graphs on hand-drawn graph paper to vectors the wrong way…
All you ask is for the sig figs to be valid and trim
And for no one in the lab to lose a limb.

God rest you merry, arts teachers, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed all the horrors one can draw or play,
From art not worth the paper to A-flat instead of A…
All you ask is that they practice, — just a little, is that fair?
All you ask is that they work and try and care.

God rest you merry, high school students, let nothing you dismay,
For you have witnessed tortures one can’t even begin to say,
And four tests and a summative set all on the same day…
All you ask is for the answers to be marked fair and right
And for at least eight hours of sleep a night.

– Tamara Vardomskaya, December 2002.

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