Piscataway Vo-Tech Assignment Links Valentine’s Day & Math

PISCATAWAY — “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

The connection between Valentine’s Day and math was brought home to students at Middlesex County Vo-Tech in Piscataway in an assignment to write a romantic poem that included as many math terms as possible.

Math teacher Olivia Rodriguez Tsampis assigns the project every year, giving an extra point for every math term used in the poem. She said Marina Bhatti of Edison submitted the outstanding entry of her approximately 100 students.

“She used 69 math terms,” Rodriguez Tsampis said. “I usually get five or 10.”

The winning poem began:
“When I add you to the equation,
“My life is equal to the happiest person alive.
“The absolute value of us is beyond infinity.
“And that is why counting numbers will just be a waste of time.”

Bhatti got a grade of 100, plus extra credit for her artistic presentation and some coupons for goodies from Piscataway Vo-Tech’s culinary students.

“She wants to be an author,” Rodriguez Tsampis said. “Her poem was outstanding.”

The Middlesex County Vocational & Technical School District, the oldest vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses, in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge. The district will mark its centennial in 2014.

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