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Because Kooky is Just Plain Memorable.

September 8, 2009

Do you remember the quadratic formula?

I do.

This is not because I harbor a secret fanaticism for basic algebra or even that I have a knack for remembering odd sequences of variables and operations. Its simply because I had a very smart teacher in high school that taught the formula to me by means that are far from ordinary and to many would be considered kooky: I learned to sing the quadratic formula to the tune of (what I am pretty sure is) the Notre Dame Fight Song.

There are two things that I consider remarkable about this recollection of knowledge: one, I still remember something that I have not put to use in over 10 years; and two, even though I am not a sports fan in any way, shape, or form, I have held onto the tune in my head.

As Janna put it this morning, sometimes you just have to be kooky.

Being kooky doesn’t have to mean costumery or garish interfaces. It simply requires that either the medium or the message be memorable enough to create some sort of reaction from a viewer, whether that be laughter or tears. When we forge a connection with our audience, we are more likely to hold them captive and translate our message to them, successfully.

If we take this concept of the kooky and apply it to projects and pieces in which we hope to grab people’s attention, we are more likely to succeed. More than that, we may even be able to hold attention long enough for our audience to bring their social peers into the mix.

My trigonometry teacher also had us dress us in our Prom Day Best when she taught us about formal numbers and celebrated 3.14 Day annually with gusto. We laughed with her, and we learned with her. She sent her message clearly to a group of 15 year-olds who could really care less about the area under a curve.

So, all sound aside, here is the quadratic formula:
Ex equals opposite bee, plus or minus the square root of, bee squared minus four a bee all over two a…

Quadratic And if all else fails, a kooky image like this might do, though this is the equation and not the formula…

One Comment leave one →
  1. steveearley permalink
    September 8, 2009 3:04 am

    Come on, no audio link of you singing the formula? If I ever had a math teacher that fun I might have actually taken a math class in undergrad. I did have a Spanish teacher who set everything to song, though, and I still know the alphabet, the days of the week and the conjugations for several verbs because of it.

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