Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Memory of Teaching

I am enjoying teaching quite a bit now that I no longer do it. With some things it is not the doing of it that we like so much as the having done it. Climbing K2, for instance.

One day in class I carefully explained the abbreviation ‘iff’ often employed by philosophers and mathematicians to avoid writing ‘if and only if.’ I explained the logical differences among ‘if,’ ‘only if,’ and ‘if and only if.’ I gave examples. I brought in necessary and sufficient conditions. The whole shot. But I wasn’t all that surprised when I later read a student comment to the effect that Dr. V can’t spell ‘if.’