Townhall.com | Janice Shaw Crouse | August 9, 2007
A former university academic dean, I know of hard-nosed Calculus professors who started off their introductory class by saying to the students, “Look at the person to the right of you and the one to left of you.” Then they continued, “One of you is going to fail this class.” Then to add hard evidence, the professors asked for a show of hands of those who were taking Calculus for the first time, next they would ask how many were taking it for the second time, and finally how many were taking it for the third time.
By this point most of the students were beginning to get the message that Calculus is a really tough subject and the odds of flunking are high if you fool around and don’t develop the discipline to study hard. Students got the message; it’s a costly proposition to fail Calculus, a gateway subject, if your ambition lies in the more lucrative disciplines of the hard sciences. Chances are, if you can pass Calculus, you won’t earn your living asking, “Would you like fries with that?”