American PI


Dave Stuewer, a Physics teacher, sings a song he wrote for Pi Day, 2007

Lyrics (As requested):

A long long time ago,

I can still remember how

Trig. tables used to take awhile.

I knew if I had my chance that

I could make my slide-rule dance

and make my teacher happy for a while.

But teaching high school made me quiver

and every quiz that I delivered;

Bad grades on the papers

stunk worse than marker vapors.

I can’t remember if I cried when I

learned I had to teach applied (math)

but something touched me deep inside

the day we sang of Pi.

CHORUS:

Circumference divided by diameter’s Pi.

Whoever noticed that was a really smart guy.

The kids I have in algebra they often ask “Why

do we have to learn this stuff”, then they cry

I say “You won’t learn it if you don’t try.”

Did you bring your book of Math? and

do you follow the college path

if your teacher tells you so?

Now do your insides get nice and warm

when you use the slope-intercept form

and can you tell me where the first dot goes?

Well, I know you love two-column proofs

and your GPA is through the roof.

You got a TI-89.

You’re graphin’ parabolas and lines.

Well I really dig Geometry.

Ditto for Trigonometry,

but I’m absolutely filled with glee

the day we sang of Pi.

We started singing:

CHORUS

I taught a boy whose grades were great.

Asked him if he could integrate.

He just smiled and said “no doubt”.

Then I went down to the old school store

where I bought some pencils years before

but the girl there said the lead had all run out.

And in the halls the freshmen scream,

the sophomores laugh and the juniors dream.

The seniors soon graduating –

their hearts are palpitating.

And the things that I think are most cool

like Newton and Pythagorus’s rule

is stuff that I learned back in school

when I first heard about Pi.

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