I spent my lunch today watching a seventh grader do a DAMN GOOD JOB of explaining consent to two of his classmates.
The sun is on fire. The oceans are flooding. The Earth is spinning out of control. Yes, it is painfully obvious that Don Draper is an asshat. But apparently not for my father.
Disclaimer that the specific examples of Don Draper asshattery in this post contain spoilers up to and including season 6 episode 11. Probably also potentially triggering for abuse.
Don has been having sex with the downstairs neighbor, Sylvia. Sylvia, like Don, is married, and she has a son. In this episode, Don gets her son out of trouble with the US military, and Don’s daughter Sally walks in on the thank you sex. Sally freaks out and runs away, and Don throws his clothes on to chase after her, but she gets in a cab before he reaches the lobby. He doesn’t see her again until he comes home that night and his wife Megan is putting dinner on the table. Megan gets all flirty with Don when she finds out he helped Sylvia’s son, and Sally shouts at her father that he disgusts her and then runs off to her room.
Sally has very good reason to be upset here. Her parents divorced in part because of her father’s infidelity. Sally gets along with Megan, and here’s Don pulling the same shit again.
Don’s response is to follow Sally to her room and demand to talk to her. He’s standing there banging on the door and demanding she open it, ignoring her when she says she doesn’t want to talk to him. I was genuinely afraid that he was going to break the door down. That’s what my father did when I was twelve and had locked myself in my room because I didn’t feel like talking to people. Even without him *actually* knocking the door down, the possibility that he might is plenty upsetting. He is bigger and stronger than she is. She has no way out, and even if she did, she has nowhere to go. She has retreated to the closest thing she has to a safe space, and he has followed her there.
And then he tells her some condescending lie about how she didn’t see what she thinks she saw, and he was “just comforting” Sylvia. She says okay basically to make him go away, he walks off thinking he’s won, and she collapses on her bed crying. To anybody paying any attention to Sally, it is obvious that Don Draper is being an abusive, entitled prick.
That’s where the episode ends, and my mother and I comment on how big of an asshole Don is. My father’s response? ”What about the woman! She’s doing it too!” And yeah, the woman also has a spouse she is cheating on. But she’s not telling condescending lies after being caught in the act, and she’s not imposing her company on people who have made the effort to get away from her. My father rolls his eyes at this and says that he’s amazed at the ways I come up with to rationalize these things. I was already upset from the episode, and now I’m angry at him. So I tell him that Don standing outside his daughter’s door and demanding she open it when she has good reason not to want to see him is shitty and disrespectful, and I tell him that he has pulled that shit on me before. And so then he gets angry and starts telling me that every time he’s done that it’s been *my fault* for not listening when he talks. I remind him of the time he broke my door down when I was twelve while I was cleaning my room, and apparently that’s my fault too. He apparently didn’t notice Sally crying and doesn’t give a damn how upset I am by all this. It’s twelve-year-old-me’s fault for daring to want to be left alone for a bit, and it’s Sylvia’s fault for letting Don Draper sleep with her.
I was looking through my Intro to Archaeology notebook from college today, and stumbled across a page titled “Teaching derivatives with an eye on implicit differentiation.” This was something I had explained several times at the tutoring center where I worked, and so I was brainstorming how to do it in class in a way that felt more natural. It’s worth remembering, so I am posting it here. Might not be a great intro if you’re unfamiliar with implicit differentiation, since the idea is to incorporate it into a larger course, but if you’re a mathy person you might enjoy it.
First, recall from Algebra 1 that we find slope by “change in y/change in x.” You’ve probably seen this written as Δy/Δx, where Δ is the capital Greek letter “delta” and is used instead of the word “change.”
Δy = y2-y1
Δx = x2-x1
We can add x1 to both sides in the second equation to say that
x2 = x1+Δx.
Let’s say now that y is given by some function f(x). It follows that:
y1 = f(x1)
y2 = f(x2), or y2 = f(x1+Δx)
Let’s plug these into our slope formula.
Δy/Δx = f(x1+Δx)-f(x1) / Δx
This gives you the slope between any two points. To find the slope of the tangent line to a point, we let Δx approach zero (introducing this to a class for the first time, I would draw a graph on the board and show a series of secant lines approaching a tangent line to show this graphically).
For the notation, we say that the limit of Δy/Δx as Δx approaches zero is dy/dx. I remember it as a capital letter meaning a big change and a lowercase letter meaning a small change.
After a few weeks getting comfortable with derivatives (practicing things like Δy = 2(x+Δx)-2x), we introduce implicit differentiation.
Begin with a reminder of the above process.
Now, suppose instead of y = f(x), we have something more complicated? We’ll use the example y2 = 2x2.
We can still have two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2). In this case, we would use:
x2 = x1+Δx
y2 = y1+Δy.
Then we know:
y12 = 2x12
(y1+Δy)2 = 2(x1+Δx)2
We can subtract the first equation from the second and still get a valid equation:
(y1+Δy)2-y12 = 2(x1+Δx)2-2x12
Our ultimate goal is to find the slope, so we’ll do some algebra to get a Δy/Δx. Start by foiling:
y12+2y1Δy+(Δy)2-y12 = 2x12+4x1Δx +2(Δx)2-2x12
Simplify both sides:
2y1Δy+(Δy)2 = 4x1Δx+2(Δx)2
Now we can divide both sides by Δx:
2y1(Δy/Δx)+Δy(Δy/Δx) = 4x1+2Δx
At this point, we’ve got our slope in a couple of places. I am going to take a break from the algebra to take the limit as Δx approaches zero (note that as Δx approaches zero, Δy also approaches zero). This becomes:
2y1(dy/dx)+0(dy/dx) = 4x1+0
Which we can write as:
2y1(dy/dx) = 4x1
At this point, notice that on the right hand side, 4x is the derivative of 2x2. On the left hand side, the derivative of x2 would have been 2x, but since it is y2 it is instead 2y(dy/dx). It follows the exact same derivative rules, but because we are differentiating with respect to x and we took a derivative of a y term we need the dy/dx there to remind us of that.
Now we’re almost done. We can solve for the slope by dividing both sides by 2y1, leaving:
dy/dx = 2x1/y1
After this, there would be classwork and homework on taking this long approach to implicit differentiation to get everyone comfortable with the idea that when you take a y derivative there is a dy/dx with it. There would be discussions and examples for how this relates to the product rule and the quotient rule, then we’d start doing implicit differentiation with those rules rather than with limits, just like we did with differentiation earlier on.
An example for you to try: find dy/ if x2y = xy2.
"The only constant in all your relationships is you."
Nah, bro, I’m a variable.
As I was checking out at a shop, the guy said, “‘Day’. That’s a cool last name. If you get married are you going to change it?”
I looked at him genuinely confused. “Of course not. Do women still do that?”
Then he looked at me weird.
Is it crazy to assume that’s going out of fashion?! Or am I some weird last radical? Haha
Literally the first time I’ve considered not changing my name if/when I get married was last week when one of my students decided to call me “Miss Mjolnir.”
Wow, I wasn’t aware that writing a coherent analysis of a show I watched counted as being a little shit. Good thing I’m keeping it to the tags and not putting hate in people’s inboxes about having different opinions. That’d be AWFUL.
On a more serious note, if you’re going to feel awful about liking a show when someone points out problems with it, maybe that’s because you realize they make good points? And maybe it would be worth considering those points rather than flying into an anon rage about it? It’s okay to like problematic things, but you should also be okay with acknowledging that the things are problematic