Friday, June 17, 2011

Vale- "Dict-" Over By Numbers

This may be the most shocking story of numeric abuse The Math Skeptic has heard of to date. Numbers quite literally tried to rob Malverne High School senior Aalique Grahame of his richly-deserved valedictorial honors.

Despite having the highest grade-point average in his class, a so-called "calculation error" resulted in Grahame being named salutatorian. The top honor instead went to his classmate Sarah St. John. When the "error" was discovered, the Board of Education attempted to add insult to insult by naming both Grahame and St. John co-valedictorians.

Any Math Skeptic can see what really happened here. This is nothing less than a vendetta by mathematics against an innocent young man. Mr. Grahame would have been haunted by the co-valedictorial title for life, like Roger Maris was haunted by his asterisk. Years and years of explaining his tarnished valedictory status at job interviews and award acceptance speeches, and would ultimately have left poor Aalique Grahame a bitter, broken shell of a man.

Happily, this story has a happy ending. The humans ultimately triumphed over the numbers, as the Board of Education reversed its decision and awarded Mr. Grahame his sole title.

Congratulations, Mr. Grahame - on your academic achievement AND your triumph over the arithmetocracy.

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