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Day 69: Square One + Big Ten = Sucker Punch Eleven?

October 15, 2010

Square One TV, the old public television math-based kids’ sketch show, was the single most influential force for my childhood interest in arithmetic and algebra.  The program grabbed viewers’ attention with high production values (for PBS anyway…), well-regarded actors and interesting recurring characters, like the crime series “Mathnet.”

For me, the most anticipated recurring segment was “Mathman”, a take-off where a green Pac-Man relative would amble through a digital maze deciding whether to chomp certain shapes or numerals related to a task or expression.  If he failed, Mathman was devoured by the gruff digital tornado, Mr. Glitch, “who will eat you…if you’re wrong.”

Now, as a teacher, I am jumping at the chance to introduce “Mathman” to a new generation of young, game savvy learners.  I brought up the video on YouTube to reorient myself and…wait…what the heck is Mathman wearing on his head?



Yep…that’s a football helmet.  Mathman is a Michigan Wolverine…or a Delaware Blue Hen…or a Princeton Tiger if you’re colorblind…

It’s no coincidence, either.  Square One’s executive producer and head writer are both Michigan alumni and littered the show with Big Blue references throughout the program’s 232-episode run.

I thought I remembered it vividly, but education ambition and necessity is hitting Year Without Football HARD and WITHOUT REMORSE.

…whatever…I pulled for Glitch to eat the dude every time.  It’s like watching somebody blow the easy Final Jeopardy question; you know they’re screwed but they’re blissfully ignorant of the fact, while you’re stuck expecting the inevitable flame-out.

DR

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One Comment
  1. Roehl permalink
    October 15, 2010 6:38 PM

    Good find. I almost forgot about this show, even though it built the foundation I needed to survive Manske’s course.

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