Post-Holiday Observations

This week has been my first time working with most of my students since before the Christmas break.  I was surprised by the amount of review required.  As far as I can tell, none of them included math or physics in their seasonal celebrations.  No one reported asking Santa for a subscription to Physics Today or even Scientific American.  Not a single student even calculated the number of ways family members could be arranged around a dinner table, subject to constraints like which children should sit next to which parents or grandparents.  Instead, they seemed to have spent their time partying, playing video games, and hanging out with their friends.  What sad, desperate lives they must lead!

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