Things I Want for My Birthday February 25, 2008

Things I Want for My Birthday

Woo! I’m 25 today. (Yep, 25 on the 25th.)

What do I want…?

  • For everyone to make a donation to the Secular Student Alliance
  • Anything from the Amazon wishlist
  • Two tickets to the upcoming TED conference. This may prove difficult since it’s been sold out for forever… and ticket prices range in the several thousands of dollars… and you need an invitation to come…
  • The Evolution vs. Intelligent Design board game
  • All of them. And you. (I like you the most.)
  • A nun
  • The Inheritance board game
  • I want my students to understand factoring polynomials. Seriously, we went over it 3298432 times. These can’t possibly be your test scores.
  • Answer Me Jesus

Let the celebration ensue.

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Eliza

    Happy birthday, Hemant!! Twenty-five, how fabulous!!

    Since I don’t have an “in” to get you those tickets, how ’bout a nice Hallmark card? A funny one, not one of their religious ones.

    In an amazing coincidence, my birthday is tomorrow. (Well, it’s not that amazing, you’re a math teacher so you know all about how mundane that “coincidence” is.) But 25 was a while back for me…


  • Happy Birthday, Hemant!

    I loaned your book to my preacher (after he freaked out about me not being a believer anymore) and now he’s actively rethinking his evangelism efforts to focus on non-believers. I’m seeing a positive change in someone’s life because of your book. I want to thank you again for writing it.

  • Happy Hemant Day, even though it’s still Sunday here.

    Well, I donated to the SSA, but are you sure you really want a board game or a nun? Then someone’s giving money to Ray Comfort or a bunch of Sisters on your behalf. I wouldn’t want that as a gift.

  • Happy Birthday! I can sympathize with the part about getting your students to understand factoring–all the tutoring I do reveals that even when they do understand it, they won’t remember it after high school.

  • Matt

    Happy Birthday!

    I hope you have room for all the nuns FedEx will be dropping off today.

  • Joe

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy!

  • Hemant,

    Happy 25th! (5 squared)

    Can we just send you a banana? It fits nicely in your hand! 😉

  • Susan

    Happy Birthday! You’ll enjoy 25. It’s been a long time ago for me, but it’s a great age.

    Factoring polynomials? I wouldn’t wish that on a nun.

  • Mriana


  • Kate

    Happy Birthday Hemant!!

    I think you should take a nice trip to sunny NC for your birthday! 🙂 Yay! Book tour!

  • cautious

    Congratulations on getting to 25, Hemant. It’s all downhill from there.

    Oh wait that was pessimistic. I mean, getting older is awesome! Yay!

  • koz

    Happy Golden Birthday!!

    Go easy on the kids. In all my years in high school and college, my teachers must’ve gone over factoring polynomials 4321930121094 times, and I still don’t get it. In fact, today, I couldn’t tell you what a polynomial is.

    koz=Gibberish for mathematically challenged.

  • Karen

    Happy day, Hemant! Thanks for giving us a place to form such a vibrant community. 🙂

  • Happy birthday, Hemant.

    Ok, looking back, 10 years after I myself graduated from high school… can someone tell where and when we will ever use polynomials in real life let alone when/where we’ll need to factor them? I didn’t even need to do that in college.

  • Jason

    Happy Birthday. This is actually the first time I’ve been on this site. I just did a google search for “my birthday” and “feb. 25th” because today also happens to be my (30th) birthday, and your site was one of the first to pop up. Coincidentally, I also happen to be a friendly (okay, more like ornery…think “Dr. Gregory House”) atheist. As for my own birthday wishes, I already got just what I wanted…a Borders gift card! I’ll most likely be sauntering over to the Richard Dawkins/Christopher Hitchens/Carl Sagan/Sam Harris section. Happy B-day again!

  • I’ll work on the TED conference tickets–but only if I can have one of them. I’ve been wanting to go for forever!!

  • Feliz Cumpleaños!

  • Happy Birthday Hemant!

  • Happy Birthday! Wow, 25-I think I had my first mid-mid-life crisis at that age…but you have fun!

  • Caroline

    You know what, screw pictures of Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio, or any of those other guys I-would-like-to-date-but-am-only-sixteen- and-way-too-young-but-can-still-dream-right? posted on my walls. I want the eBay atheist! Intelligence is so attractive.

    Haha, happy golden birthday Hemant! I hope you get all the things on your list. 🙂

  • Milena

    Happy Birthday Hemant! Factoring polynomials is easy! Teach them something real hard, like integrals! It should scare them into learning to factor.

  • Happy Birthday Hemant!

    James! How can you not use polynomials in your daily life? I mean, don’t you ever do physics thought experiments?

  • Feb 25 is also the birthday of George Harrison and Zeppo Marx.

  • Happy Birthday Hemant. You have accomplished much as a young person and you deserve to be very proud.

    Carry On,

  • Jen

    Happy Birthday! I can’t get you a nun and I absolutely can’t convince your kids of anything, but I can point out that a teacher friend of mine recently had a student remove his pants in the middle of class, for no reason. At least your kids are clothed.

  • Wait. Factoring polynomials… is hard? I feel like I’m back in fourth grade wondering why everyone is struggling with fractions. I mean, yeah, it takes some practice to really get down, and coefficients in front of the x-squared term still throw me for a loop sometimes, but it’s easy. Just go slow if it’s troublesome.

    (Hopefully I don’t come across as arrogant. I really, truly just don’t understand how polynomials – or math in general – can be so difficult for some people.)

    Ok, looking back, 10 years after I myself graduated from high school… can someone tell where and when we will ever use polynomials in real life let alone when/where we’ll need to factor them? I didn’t even need to do that in college.

    While most of the math taught in schools won’t ever have a practical application for those not involved in math-related fields, I look at it this way: it’s a work-out for my mind. Just like our bodies need activity to stay fit, so do our brains. Plus, math logic can be pretty cool, and I always feel good after slaving away at a hard problem and having the right answer.

    It’s a defeatist attitude I see a lot, though – “Oh, we’ll never need to use this again, so it doesn’t matter if I just copy your homework and cram for the test.” I don’t think that’s what school should be about.

    P.S. Happy Birthday, Hemant. 🙂

  • Lysander

    Polynomials… That’s Latin for “many nomials,” right? 😉 Maybe if you explain that they need to know this so they can make their way to calc…otherwise they’ll never understand the meaning of “when all else fails, try integration by parts.” That and they’ll never get the humor of the integral of e to the x equals f of u to the n.

    And…umm…happy belated birthday!

  • James

    James! How can you not use polynomials in your daily life? I mean, don’t you ever do physics thought experiments?

    Haven’t needed to ever since I graduated.

    And while I was in school, I did have fun with math. I think I was one of those who didn’t understand why other people had trouble with it. It’s just that now that I don’t do it every day, haven’t done it for years, really, the skill goes away.

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