Recently, in Deborah McNally’s Precalculus class, an anonymous ‘meme-er’ has been posting math-related memes in the classroom. Memes, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, are “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.” However, in this case, the students are circulating the memes around a classroom instead of social media.
On an irregular basis, the ‘mysterious meme-er’ will post memes on the classroom whiteboard near the entrance to the class. Students in the class excitedly anticipate coming into class everyday, always checking to see if the ‘meme-er’ has struck again. Usually, the student posts the memes on the board after the first few days of a new unit, once most of the lesson has been taught.
The memes generally relate to the unit at the time. For example, the day after the class learned about vectors, a student posted a meme stating: “I’m VECTOR, I commit crime with both DIRECTION and MAGNITUDE,” this is clever because direction and magnitude are aspects of finding vectors. (Photo above)
The classes generally seem to enjoy the breaks from math that the memes provide. Avery Davis is a student in McNally’s fourth period Precalculus class.
“I think [the memes] bring the class together in our struggles and enjoyment of the class. I think it’s something we can all bond over,” said Davis.
Precalculus is well known as a fairly difficult math class, as it transitions students from the algebra-heavy prerequisite classes such as Math 1, 2, and 3. The class is a source of stress for many students, but the memes seem to serve as a stress reliever.
“It is a very challenging class, so having a new meme on the whiteboard when we walk in helps relieve some tension,” said Davis.
McNally’s classes continue to search for the ‘mysterious meme-er’–will he or she ever be discovered?