Quotes from Calculus

calculus quotes

Seniors are done with classes. (The rest of the Upper School is preparing for final exams this week, and finals are administered next week.) Yesterday one of my calculus students gave me this 12-page booklet she prepared. All year, she had been writing down quotations from class — from students and from me. This was her final product. 

I don’t think it would be right to include the student quotations, but below here are some that are attributed to me. I remember some of them, and some of them I am clueless! Most of them won’t make any sense to you, gentle reader. Oh well!

“Derivatize!” — Mr. Shah

“Laughing is the only thing we can do, otherwise we would cry” — Mr. Shah

“Does this make the diddy [ditty] make more sense?” “P. Diddy” — Mr. Shah and Stu

“There’s still 2 minutes left, keep working” — Mr. Shah

“Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish, fish. 6 fish!” — Mr. Shah

“You can harangue him” — Mr. Shah

“It’s just depressing as a teacher when students admire clocks” — Mr. Shah

“I have 3 declarations, is that okay?” “No” — Student and Mr. Shah

“Sorry that you’re so sensitive” — Mr. Shah

“Anyone taking Latin here? Too bad. Ha! It’s in Greek.” — Mr. Shah

“Crust” — Mr. Shah

“”You need parentheses or else you’re gonna die” — Mr. Shah

“Oh no he didn’t!” — Mr. Shah

“Are you having special difficulties?” — Mr. Shah to Student

“Uh-uh boo boo” — Mr. Shah

“Jesus!” “Jesus!” “Hey, let’s keep religion out of this” — Student, Student, and Mr. Shah

“You’re a whack sharpener” — Mr. Shah to Student

“What if I put formaldehyde in this? And then spit in it?” — Mr. Shah to Student

“What’s the point in the spit? After the formaldehyde she’d already be dead” — Student

“That was my fault for listening to anyone but my brain” — Mr. Shah

“I have hearing” — Mr. Shah

“How was your weekend Mr. Shah?” *silence* “Oh, okay” — Student

“I got 99 problems and they’re all problematic” — Mr. Shah

“Who wants to volunteer to factor out these 100 terms?” *silence* “No one?” — Mr. Shah

“What… what’s the derivative of tan(x)?” “This isn’t happening” — Student and Mr. Shah

“Make your life easiah!” — Mr. Shah

“Yes sir” “I prefer your majesty” — Student and Mr. Shah

“Hey! Hey! Hey! This doesn’t sound mathy” — Mr. Shah

“Draw the boxes” “Why?” ” Because I order it” — Mr. Shah and Student

“When I see these things, I get like heart palpitations” — Mr. Shah

“Let’s come up with our own definition of genius” — Mr. Shah

“The baby mama rule, ugh! You guys have me calling it this instead of the inception rule” — Mr. Shah

“I pick one kid in every class to blame for everyone getting sick. I blame Student” — Mr. Shah

“Student die!” “Did you just tell Student to die?” “No I said duck!” — Mr. Shah and Student

“A long, long time ago… in a classroom right here” — Mr. Shah

“So what’s the derivative?” “With the letter? I can’t do it with letters” “Yo, pass it over here” — Mr. Shah, Student, and Student

“Doing it all at once is a little cray cray” — Mr. Shah

“We’re so close to being done” “We’re not done yet?” — Mr. Shah and Student

“Where is my pencil honey boo boo child” — Mr. Shah

“That’s bad news bears” — Mr. Shah

“Hush! No questions. We’re imagining” — Mr. Shah

“My favorite flowers are ranunculus” — Mr. Shah

“Do we have this sheet?” “Yes… but I don’t want you to take it out” “So how are we gonna do it?” — Student and Mr. Shah

“Do you have your phone in your hand?” “Never have I ever” — Mr. Shah and Student

“A baby, in a baby, in a momma” — Mr. Shah

“Student, I’m asking you this because you’re snarky” — Mr. Shah

“Derp!” — Mr. Shah

“What if I just say give me the Riemann Sum?” “You won’t” — Mr. Shah and Student

“Did I do well?” “No coach, you didn’t” — Student and Mr. Shah

“I put a little doo-hickey on the right side” — Mr. Shah

“I have a QQ Mr. Shah” — Mr. Shah

“Hush yourself child” — Mr. Shah

“Repetitious and tedious” — Mr. Shah

“Hey, fight me!” “Don’t tempt us” — Student and Mr. Shah

“Can’t you read it? More a exact!” — Mr. Shah

“He’s doing his thing” “What’s his thing?” “He’s running” “Attempting to run” — Student, Mr. Shah, and Student

“We should look at this and say…” “That ain’t right” — Mr. Shah and Student

“Holy Mother… Superior” — Mr. Shah

“They’re full of hogwash” — Mr. Shah



  1. So awesome! Reading them makes me smile because I get a sneak peek into your classroom and can just imagine the students giving you their rapt attention. The clock quote kills me!

  2. Is the baby mama rule the chain rule?

    I always have a few students who are also in AP Latin – I am going to take a note from you and rub in that they ought to be learning Greek.

    1. Haha, yes, it is. We have a “mama function” and a “baby function”… when we take the derivative of it: “Take the derivative of mama and leave the baby inside, then take the derivative of baby”… I think I saw it on a comic strip or something, and it works for some kids to make it “stick.”

  3. Every year there at least one student in my class who is doing the same thing your student did with collecting quotes. My students call what I say Nadji’isms and they seem to get a kick out of them for some unknown reason. Thank you for sharing yours!

  4. I can’t pick a favorite. These are priceless, Sam. Thank you for sharing.

    (Still can’t read many of the first letters in your post. Your blog hates me.)

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