When Math Gets Irrational: An Exposé on Mathepolitik


Most students at New Trier imagine their math teachers as rather mild-mannered and pleasant individuals who enjoy puns a little too much. However, the darker truth is that a sharp political divide permeates the New Trier Mathematics Department.

The genesis of mathepolitik was the formation of the geometry-aligned Pythagoreans, initially a “triangle enthusiast” group on Facebook. The group, however, rapidly radicalized into a trigonometric cult, shunning all forms of math not in accordance with “The Holy Trinity” (Pythagoras, Euclid, and Decartes). Disaffected and disturbed, many teachers banded together to form a counter-Pythagorean party, dubbed PEMDAS (Pythagoreans Exhibit Massive Dweebism And Suck).

Tensions increased over the course of several months as light-hearted jabs stirred the two factions to resort to full-on psychological warfare and, eventually, physical violence. Emails acquired by the Near True News reveal a host of aggressive behaviors among math teachers:

  • Super-gluing protractors at slightly-off angles around the math office
  • Implementing algorithms to switch calculators between degree and radian modes at random intervals
  • Slightly bending rulers and straightedges
  • “Plastic knuckle” protractor brawls
  • Placing compasses sharp-side-up on office chairs
  • Taping inhumane numbers of math problems in rivals’ homes to cause distraction and weaken resolve

According to unnamed sources, the department has been forced to devote its Late Start and Early Dismissal meeting time to resolving issues via a Fight Club-esque method of conflict resolution.

Despite the tireless efforts of administrators, computer science teachers, students, and other neutralists, there seems to be no end in sight for the conflict; students can only hope that classes will remain the somewhat jovial and slightly awkward periods of learning instead of the true nature of math at New Trier.

NOTE – The Near True News does not support, endorse, or associate with The Pythagoreans nor PEMDAS.