Two cautions: Regrettably, I did not consistently collect source information nor did I check publication rights. Many of these date back a number of years, and I no longer remember whether or not I’ve verified the solution.

1)

Some people consider the depression year 1930 unlucky because the sum of the digits totaled 13. What is the next year in which the numbers will again total 13? (Otto P. Kramer, *Games Magazine*, Feb. 1983)

[2029]

2)

Do this in your head: Which is larger, 94.1% of 23.25, or 23.25% of 94.1? (Michael Ecker, *Games Magazine*, Sept.-Oct., 1981)

[They are equal by the commutative property: AxB = BxA]

3)

Riddle: Two days ago, I was only twenty-eight. Next year I’ll be thirty-one. What day is my birthday? (*Games Magazine*, Sept.-Oct., 1981)

[December 31. Two days ago, was December 30, and I was 28. Today it is January 1, and I am 29. At then end of this year, when it’s December 31 again, I’ll be 30. But NEXT YEAR, on December 31, I will be 31.]

4)

What are the chances? The race track is terribly dangerous. Drivers must first cross a very narrow bridge that sends one out of every five cars into the water. Next comes a grueling hairpin turn which forces three out of every ten cars into a ravine. Th pitch-dark tunnel that follows is so treacherous that one out of every ten cars never emerges. Last comes a sandy stretch in which two out of every five cars bogs down.

Given these pitfalls, what percentage of those cars competing will make their way successfully to the finish line? (*Mathematical Games*, M. Berrondo)

[The probability of these sequential events is the product of the individual probabilities. Note that the answer asks for SUCCESSFUL finish, but the individual hazards are given in terms of FAILURE. 4/5 x 7/10 x 9/10 x 3/5 = .3024 or about 30%]

5)

Change the link HARD into EASY. Change one letter, starting with the word HARD, to make a new word at each step of the chain ending with EASY. (Five steps)

[HARD —> CARD —> CART —> CAST —> EAST —> EASY]

6)

Place six vertical lines in a row like this: | | | | | | . Now add five straight lines until you have exactly nine.

[NINE]

7)

A corny riddle: A box contains nine ears of corn. A squirrel carries out three ears each day, but it takes him nine days to completely empty the box. How can you logically explain this?

[Two of the three daily “ears” are the squirrel's. The squirrel only removes one ear of corn each day.]

8)

What non capitalized word in the English language is distinguished by three dotted letters in a row? (John B. Klein, * Games Magazine*, March-April, 1982)

[hijinks]

9)

Norma, Naomi, and Nan are engaged to be married. Who will marry whom if: Naomi is not engaged to the artist; Joe is an author; the doctor’s wife is not Nan; Elliot is engaged to Norma; and Matt is the artist? (*Games Magazine*, March-April, 1982)

[Norma <–> Elliot, Nan <–> Matt, Naomi <–> Joe]

10)

Three cards are dealt face down. A diamond lies to the left of a spade, a two is to the right of a jack, a nine lies to the left of a club, and a club is on the left of a spade. What are the cards?

[nine of diamonds, jack of clubs, two of spades]

11)

All of the following words share a common characteristic: Farad, decibel, henry, joule, and tesla. What is this common characteristic? (Sydney Harris)

[All are units of measurement named after the men who devised them: Michail Faraday, Alexander Grahm Bell, Joseph Henry, James Joule, and Nikola Tesla]

12)

If a pen costs a dollar more than an eraser, and together they cost $1.10, what is the price of each. (This problem not adjusted for inflation.)

[If E = Eraser, then E + (E + $1) = 1.10. Solve for E = $0.05, and pencil = $1.05.]

13)

Divide thirty by one half and add ten. What is the answer?

[70. There are two halfs in every whole, so there are sixty one-halfs in thirty. Now, add ten.]

14)

Suppose there are seven amoebas in the bottom of a jar. They are multiplying so fast, they double their volume every minute. If it takes forty minutes for the amoebas to fill half the jar, how much longer will it take to fill the whole jar?

[One minute. The jar is half full. Since they double in volume every minute, they will double that half-full to make the jar completely full in one more minute. This is a classic example of the (scary) idea of exponential growth.]

15)

How many two-digit, positive whole numbers are there?

[90 Easier to work backwards: There are 99 whole numbers from 1 to 99? Nine of those are one-digit numbers ( 1 – 9). So 99 – 9 = 90]

16)

Quick! What two whole numbers multiply together to make 13?

[13 x 1]

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Recently our college had a difficult time bargaining a new contract for the faculty. Rather than get into the particulars of contract issues, I would like to focus attention on what has happened to the state of relations between the professional staff and the administration. The negotiating process exacerbated an already tense relationship. I do not pretend to understand the priorities of the administration or the financial position of the institution, but I do understand education and how the education process works.

Education and training are the product of our college. They are what we “sell.” The number of students who come through our doors depends directly on the quality of that product. Good education comes from good educators working together to create high caliber classes and innovative curriculum. A major role of administration is to foster and enable this cooperation by providing resources, coordination, and leadership.

Developing quality, innovative courses requires time and energy outside of the classroom. Few educators are satisfied to teach the same material the same way year after year. Good teachers constantly look for new techniques to motivate students so they get the most out of class. Besides, doing the same thing every semester is boring. If instructors’ natural innovation and creativity are going to be harnessed for the good of college as a whole, the administration must give its faculty resources, coordination, and leadership.

A “warm body” in front of a class (or behind a computer for an online course) can deliver course material, but is that a quality product? Unfortunately all too many of our classes are delivered by adjunct instructors. For some subjects this is a benefit because the adjuncts are practicing professionals who bring current, specialized knowledge into our college. However, it also means students are exposed to a very mixed bag of quality. Full time faculty can help mitigate this problem by creating model courses and guidelines to support high standards. This cooperation takes resources, coordination, and leadership.

In my years in education, I have seen both good and bad relations between administration and professional staff. Some administrators have had a very poor relationship with our educators. No trust existed. Faculty edured administrators who had little interest in our college’s reputation for delivering quality education. Innovation was mandated to keep up area rivals. We followed no strategic plan for advancement as an institution. Internally, an us-versus-them attitude created a weak institution which delayed important advances at our college.

An adversarial relationship does not vanish overnight. Faculty suspicion and distrust of management linger after a new president and his or her administration take over. When a college’s leadership is not trusted, initiatives and innovations are reflexively opposed. It takes time and effort to cultivate a positive relationship with the professional staff. Unfortunately, mistrust and antagonism can be reignited all too easily.

I am close to the end of my career in education, but I am deeply worried about the future of our college as an innovative educational institution. The poisonous atmosphere created by the recent difficult negotiations has deeply affected attitudes of our professional staff. While our educators still innovate, and will implement on an individual basis. There is no collective plan; No vision.

Creativity and innovation take time and energy. Unfortunately the current crisis over collective bargaining has sucked time and energy out of this institution to no good end. How long will it take to rebuild a positive, trusting relationship between the leadership and the professionals who deliver the educational product? When will our educators be able to work with our administration to provide the best possible education to students in our service district?

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