This is how bored I was in high school algebra

As I was recently cleaning my bookshelves in preparation for moving, I came across an Algebra II notebook from high school.  Leafing through it, I discovered why I had saved it for all these years.  It was not for the details of matrix multiplication.  It was for my doodles in the margins that I did when I was bored in class.

Among other things, I apparently spent the better part of my sophomore year writing out the Longfellow poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” which I had memorized and can still recite the majority of.


You can read the full poem here.  While it certainly a white man’s version of history, and not an entirely accurate one at that, it is a lovely poem that is such fun to recite.

I did throw away the algebra notebook after I took these pictures.  I don’t think I need to know about the Binomial Theorem anymore.

9 thoughts on “This is how bored I was in high school algebra

    • Mei-Mei August 20, 2020 / 10:55 pm

      Yup, we each have our own coping strategies haha. My husband used to program games on his calculator!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sara August 20, 2020 / 10:56 pm

        haha wow!


    • Mei-Mei August 20, 2020 / 10:56 pm

      So glad I saved that notebook haha.


  1. Michael J. Miller October 18, 2020 / 11:48 am

    This just made my day! Also, I am SO impressed by the different handwriting styles you used! I can doddle all sorts of random pictures but I can’t really alter my handwriting – much to my students’ chagrin XD.

    On the Algebra note, I had an Algebra II teacher who (as we had the A/B Day block schedule) gave us 5 extra credit points for showing him we did the homework the night it was assigned and not putting it off until the night before class. FIVE EXTRA CREDIT POINTS. EACH CLASS. ALL ON COMPLETION, NOT ACCURACY. And, AND his was a course where, if you had an A all year you didn’t have to take the final! So while I couldn’t do a basic algebraic equation to save my life anymore, I didn’t have to take the final and consider that a major win in my high school career.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei October 18, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      That is a major win indeed! My Algebra II teacher did not have such a policy lol. In fact, he made us take a quiz on 9/11/01 😀 To be fair, we probably needed the normalcy that day…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael J. Miller October 18, 2020 / 11:16 pm

        Yeah, that feels weirdly hardcore. I can see the normalcy thing but still, wow. Did he throw the grades our or give everyone an A? Was it like a distraction or was it a for real, regular, run of the mill quiz?


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