Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
May 11th, 2005
High School


Thinkers’ Club

Justin finally convinced me to go to a Thinkers’ Club meeting. Now, it’s likely that most of you have no clue what that is, so let me explain:

A few months ago, before Mr. Ott conducted his massive roundup of students who participate in extracurriculars, he circulated a schedule of clubs and their photo-op times. Among the clubs listed was a “Thinkers’ Club.” Everyone was puzzled, but I had a growing suspicion that this was some secret club that Mr. Mongenas started up, because the biggest compliment he can give you is to call you a “thinker.”

Apparently I was right. Someone in my Politics & Religion class, a Thinker, explained the club to us. I’m still not sure exactly what they do, but it seems they sit around and philosophize, in an extension of Mr. Mongenas’ Morality & Justice class. Actually, that description is what got me interested, since I eventually found his class interesting last year (more on that later).

So Justin, John, and I went up to the Religion wing to see what was going on: an end-of-year pizza party. We ended up sitting in a circle, discussing each of the religion teachers – their qualities, flaws, etc. Not bad.

Anyways, Mr. Mongenas mentioned to me that, upon searching Google for his name – like we all do in a short moment of ego – he’d found a blog entry of mine from the beginning of last year, saying quite bluntly:

… But I’m not too thrilled with Mr. Mongenas (Morality & Social Justice), who doesn’t seem to be too thrilled about teaching the course.

(Read the rest of that entry, “Catching Up”…)

Until he mentioned that entry, I had completely forgotten all about my first impressions of Mr. Mongenas, which admittedly weren’t that positive. But only a couple weeks into the course, I was very happy about both him and the course. I’m sorry that he had to find that post, because it really doesn’t reflect what I think of him as a teacher.

This should serve as a reminder for me to make a habit of updating my views on everything I post here. And given that this will be entry №632 at Minh’s Notes and Apuntes de Minh, I’ve certainly got a lot of catching up to do.


  1. Well, I'm in the same class... Morality, like all other religion courses, seriously makes absolutely zero percent sense. And being in Mongenas' morality class for 2 semesters(with an annoying Naveed) has made me realize I don't understand philosophy. And also, that Naveed's been jugged twice by Eddy, but that's another story.

    I've also learned that Mr. Brower believes I suck at teh Geometry, and, although I am pulling a 95 in AB Trig, am still taking CAIC. Any reason why this would be, Mr. Nguyen? (since, it seems, the logic should come from a 3xAP student)

    And I do realize this post has proven, well, nothing. so as a last comment:

    MR DOWINE!11!!11


  2. Sheesh, you’re asking me to pull out St. X’s wonderful Course Catalog to see what the default track for you would actually be.

    Is that 95% indicative of what you’ve been getting the previous three quarters? Have you given him no end in grief for not giving you the necessary approval to get into AB Calc? If you answered no to the second question…

    Oh, and the obligatory disclaimer: don’t quote me. I’m not the Registrar (yet). I’m not Mrs. Morgan, either. I don’t give scheduling advice.

  3. 1) I never said you were Mrs. Arszman or Mrs. Morgan, although that would be quite hilarious to see you as Mrs. Morgan...

    2) I gave Mama T and recently, Jim Brower, and now going to Dave Cappel... no end in grief for this idea, and I had about a 87 average in Algebra 2 for the year, and looking at a 91 or better for AB Trig, if i ace the exam. The only reason I bring this forth to you is to ask: Is it fair that slackers, like Brent Stires(the Bread) get into AB Calc, while students that actually put heart, soul and work(well at least work) into their classes and get kicked down? Minh, as someone who actually puts work into stuff at X, you would probably be best suited to answer this.

    3) MR DOWINE!!111!


    1. Three-six-one, one-one-zero!
    2. Yeah, I do know some people who get into the Calc classes but don’t deserve it. They don’t ever do any work in the class, and frankly they don’t care, because to them it’s really a big joke. Fortunately (?), they end up demoting themselves, asking to get transferred to a lower level halfway through the year, once they realize that the joke has long been over.
    3. Heh, Mr. Downie’s great. It’s too bad he’s not teaching EuroLit next year.
  4. 1) rofl my wafl... 361-110...

    3 and 2)Yeah, that was originally my first choice for senior english. I would have taken Ind Study, but am not really an independent studier...thus taking Shakesp and Cr Wrtg instead.

    But the main idea is yes. Finally I have proof to the Bread that he really will flunk AB Calc. I find it kind of funny that the kid who was doing half decent in Geo is making a lower score. In Trig. With the one teacher that you have to TRY to get lower than a 85%. Of course, this is without the Math Exam, which 84% of the time lowers student's math course scores. Of course, the teachers i have had have their dissenting opinions. Mr. Brower of course thinks i shouldn't go anywhere near Calc, Mama T says to go for it, and Mr. Cappel would(will?) probably say "Now-An-tar! Are you sure that-whoosh! you-can-handle-Calc? I-amnotsosure!" et cetera. Aside from the fact I'm a little distraught at this situation, my parents are not happy at all. Especially with MR JOE LOLNE ESQ since he thinks I am dumber than Seth Robinson, who you probably don't know.

    4)MR DOWINE!111!1 again

    5) At least I managed to get into Spanish 4...which is something of an effort?

  5. Ahhh! Stop abusing the poor ol’ <abbr> tag that IE users usually can’t see anyways…

    Además, te interesaría la traducción de esta bitácoras en español. ¡Visita los Apuntes de Minh, que no he actualizado desde febrero!

  6. but i enjoy the <abbr> tag...it's fun, almost MR DOWINE worthy

  7. To Antar: Yeah, it does fell bad when you feel like you've done a lot of work, but don't get anything for it. Mr. Brower could be right, though, in my current AB Calc class it seems that the people who did no work in geometry do no work in Calc and get 95+, while the kids that did a lot of work in Trig AB end up doing three times as much work as they did for Trig Ab and end up getting 80-.

    Ohh yeah, Mr Downie is one of my favorite teachers. Ohh why did he stop teaching Euro Lit? It was my favorite class.

    To Minh: you should put a disclosure at the top of your post saying "All views are subject to change." Sounds stupid, but it might make people happy. (example: Blue Print might realize something you said years ago might not reflect your opinion until the end of time.)

  8. Or how about: “I am a fickle person. If it has been three minutes since I posted the text below, believe absolutely nothing of it.”

    I shouldn’t have to do that – the page has “Archived” written all over it, with the date displayed at the top. I would really like it if people actually started reading a page’s content before criticizing it, which is what happened in the second Blueprint case. (Whitlatch’s concerns were valid.)

    But alas, just as people don’t read the directions on a test before taking it (I’m guilty of that too), they like to skip over all the details.

    About EuroLit: If Mr. Downie doesn’t decide to teach the course again, I really hope that another teacher will take it up.

    Antar: how about the <acronym> tag, which works the same way, but it displayable in Internal Exploiter? I do appreciate that you’ve given the much-neglected <abbr> tag some attention, though.

  9. Minh: Ill try and use it more, but i use Firefox 90% of the time so I can see the <abbr> tag in action.

    Anonymous Passerby, whom I should know?: This is true. However it sickens me that there are students that got kicked back to CAIC and pulling a 98 and not even paying one single solitary iota of attention whatsoever, at any time. If students aren't being challenged, what is the point of attending St. X? Take for instance my first example, Bread Stirs Brent Stires. This kid barely lifts a finger in Trig, and is going to "AB Calc" with a "Slacker's Notion of Feas Squared, Then Cubed". Brent is quite possibly one of the many slackers at our school. The biased way i see it, at least 45%, if not more, of this school, barely lifts a finger and come out with a GPA of 88 or better. Which to people like me, sort of ticks me off at the number of people that don't work and get AP Lit, AP Chem, AP Physics, AP Spanish 5, AP Theological Virtues, BC Calc, AP Economics, AP Biology, AP US Hist, AP Drawing, AP CS A/AB, AP MS WinXP, AP Et Cetera(and score 88+)
    compared to students in Col Alg/Finance, Rem Eng IV
    ,Comp Apps, Rem Hist, Lo CP Physics, CP Chem, Spanish 3(senior yr), Reflect Life(scoring 80-)

    It just isn't fair. Really.

    PS: I may have gone off track, but it's 1:30 AM...spare me on corrections ect...