Saturday, February 26, 2011

James Hersey Resistor Rhymes

Science Teacher James Hersey is now just plain 'James Hersey' after mentioning an old fashioned mnemonic used to remember the colour codes on a resistor.

"Black Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly"

Now even I realise that you can't say that nowadays, but every engineer over the age of about 40 will be familiar with it. There are numerous variations and I'm sure you will agree that;

"Bye Bye Rosie, Off You Go. Birmingham Via Great Western" would have been a better idea, but should he really have lost his job over this?

We have teachers in State Comprehensives who know very little about their subject and others who do not turn up for months on end. There are some who have no idea about basic grammar or simple maths. We have those who cannot spell, or even speak much English. Rest assured that they have no worries about their job security. We do not sack people because of what they do, instead we get rid of someone because of what he said.

Frankly even if Mr Hersey dressed up as Hitler at Parents Evening and regularly goose stepped down the corridor shouting "Sieg Heil", painted a swastika on the bonnet of his car and had a giant eagle statue either side of his whiteboard along with a stockroom full of Nazi memorabilia- even if he set fire to a giant wooden cross on the school field at lunchtime, before dancing around it wearing a white robe and a funny pointy hat; I'd still rather have him teaching my kids than some of the hopeless cases I've seen in charge of a classroom. Give him a warning, fine him, take him into the Head's office and punch him in the head for all I care, but why suspend him and spoil the kids' exam chances?

Here's the BBC article about it.


Anonymous said...

Disgusting, he didn't even tell them the entire rhyme.
Often it's the un-PC thingamajigs which work the best.
"I Pulled My Aunties Testicle" is a great little mnemonic for remembering the states of Mitosis, for example.

Bill Sticker said...

I was taught "Bad boys rape only young girls but virgins go without"

Very similar.

English Pensioner said...

At a grammar school, just after the war, our maths teacher had just been discharged from the army. Instead of the usual textbook algebra, "if 2 apples and four oranges cost 2/6 and ...." etc, he preferred "If it costs £5 to provide an infantryman with 10 rounds and three grenades and he used one grenade to kill two Germans ...... "
Or our economics master, who at a time of rationing, considered the black market in food to be a perfect example of the law of supply and demand with prices varying on a seasonal basis according to the laying habits of hens and the breeding habits of rabbits.
I don't think either would last long these days, but even now I remember what they taught us because they made it interesting.

Lilyofthefield said...

Heaven forfend that I should win PC of the Year award but I doubt your Maths or Economics masters would actually have faced a class of children of whom half were black boys.

Anonymous said...

He could have said "Ravish"instead of rape.

I'm with you on the sub-standard of teachers. I accompanied my son to a local 6th form college open day. On asking a Maths teacher whether the college offered Further Maths the teacher replied "We do have furver maffs, but it all depends on how many students want to take furver maffs".

Needless to say, my son is not attending that college

Lilyofthefield said...

"I Pulled My Aunties Testicle"
I haven't had cause to even think about the phases of mitosis since I took Biology A-level in 1975 but am delighted to recall Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase and Telophase as though it were yesterday.
A great little mnemonic indeed!

Anonymous said...

"James Hersey, 68, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council."

I thought that nauseous quango had been scrapped by Call Me Dave.

Benedict White said...

Just to point out that none of those rhymes tell me exactly which colours are in which order, although violet, white and orange are obvious. What is not obvious is brown and black, nor where green is. Nor is what the numbers associated with each.

Anonymous said...

Glad you like it Lilly...
Another is a terrible chat up line...
"Hey baby, if I could be any enzyme I'd be a Helicase so I could unzip your genes"

It's always telling that they remember Helicase, but always forget DNApolymerase.

White: at the very least he should have been disciplined for using a crap mnemonic:p

muso-tim said...

"Bad beer rots our young guts but vodka goes well"

That's what I remember!

Anglichan said...

We shouldn't be surprised at this kind of thing. When the communists were in control in Russia or the nazis in Germany, one of the worst things a citizen could do was to display any, albeit accidental, departure from State ideology, through words spoken.

PC is the ideology now. Thou shalt not speak a word against its tenets; 'gender, sexual and racial equality'. PC thought has replaced a broadly Christian worldview in the minds and hearts of many in the UK and the result is oppression for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

When I wur a lad, the second 'b' (brown) was bastards.

Everybody knows that for a mnemonic to be effective, it has to be outrageous or rude. Or both. Don't they?

As a young RAF trainee pilot in the 1960s I was taught a very rude one for the 'vital actions' - checks to be done immediately before take-off. I still use it, but silently. If senility ever makes me to verbalise it then I'll be frogmarched off to jail.


Anonymous said...

Ok then, what's the value of this resistor?

is it 600 Ohms, 1% tolerance? Or 100 Ohms, 0.25% tolerance?

Mjolinir said...

Anxiously await music teachers facing allegation of sexism AND of 'grooming' by saying -

"Every Good Boy Deserves Favour"

BUT - I wish I could recollect Pi, merely about ten place accuracy...