Recently, PIC's David Nelson wrote a column about his name and how he hates the fact that it's so plain. And when he did so, he reminded me of a funny story from my freshman year in Algebra.

Like most writers, I am very bad at math. In fact, some would say that I became a writer by default, which is to say that writing was the only academic endeavor in which I did not suck elephant ass. Some would probably be right, but I would never admit that to some. Some are pompous bastards.

Anyway, one of the two math classes I took in college was some Algebra/Trigonometry hybrid. It was probably the toughest class I ever took in college because math leaves little room for my specialty, which is bullshit (my other math class was logic, which is really the formulated science of bullshit, so I did quite well in that). My Algebra/Trig hybrid teacher was southern (as was his accent). He spoke in monotones. And the class was boring. And I was often hungover in it. Thanks to the winning combination of boredom/monotone/hungover, I often fell asleep in that math class.

And the teacher kept waking me up by accident.

You see, my last name is DeGraaf which can be pronounced as either “de graph” or “duh graph.” And, there are a lot of graphs in Algebra.

So, many's the time I would fall asleep, hear my name, wake up, wipe the drool off my face and ask, “Huh?”

To which the teacher would reply, “No, Mr. DeGraaf. I'm talking about duh graph up here on the board. You can go back to sleep.”

This happened at least twenty times. And every time, the teacher used the same joke. And every time, much laughter was had at my expense.

God, I hate math.