Mathematics teacher David Park announced on Friday, December 23, that he will be the lead vocalist and guitarist of a new boy band, which has yet to be named. Most of the band’s details are still undecided, but Park has released several preliminary singles, including “A Bit of Humble Pi,” and “A Fraction of My Love.” The news has set the student population abuzz with excitement.
Park was inspired to create the band because of pressure from many of his female students, who know of his fondness for playing the guitar. “[My students] would ask me why I was just a math teacher, when I clearly had this other passion that I wasn’t pursuing. They encouraged me, and assured me that I really had potential,” Park said.
Though it seems that Park has tried to remain professional while at school, students and faculty have reported catching him taking posed photographs of himself during his students’ tests. “I think he’s trying to pick a trademark pose for when he’s famous and has paparazzi all over the place,” sophomore Savannah Jeffreys said. “But he’s going to need a little more practice with the posing. All he does is make a ‘shh’ sign or smile next to the calculator or chalkboard. It’s not cute.”
Some speculation has arisen regarding the group’s genre. Park himself has revealed that he is having trouble deciding whether to maintain an exclusively mathematics-themed image, or whether to stick more to the typical style exemplified by today’s popular pop groups. In an attempt to become more “mainstream,” Park started coming to work in brightly colored T-shirts and hi-top sneakers. He also got a new haircut, which bears a suspicious resemblance to the signature side-swept locks of Justin Bieber.
Faculty members of the Mathematics Department have expressed concern over Park’s new look. “We encourage math teachers to dress in a non-alarming fashion as part of the mission of our department. Our goal is to focus the students’ attention on absolutely nothing but the formulas and numbers, which is why we try to have teachers dress in such a way that they will blend in with the classroom. Blackboard-colored clothing is preferred,” Assistant Principal Maryann Ferrara said.
Park also plans to develop the group’s imagine with a creative name. While he is still unsure what the final name of the group will be, Park is partial to “The Angle Angels.” “I was looking for a name that would simultaneously reference my passion for the mathematical arts and my angelic good looks,” Park said. “I’m just so excited to embark on this new stage of my life.”
But not all the students are excited about Park’s musical endeavor. “This is a school. All I want to do is focus in class. Mr. Park came in 15 minutes late to class, and said he was practicing being fashionably late. His new habits are detracting from our education,” said an anonymous freshman student.
To determine additional band members, Park is recruiting Stuyvesant students based on a math exam. He asked the student announcer to tell all interested students to report to the Murray Kahn Theater after school on Monday, January 9. He had all participants take the 2008 AMC exam sitting alone at a desk onstage while he and the rest of the students watched. Park claimed it was an accurate test of mathematical talent as well as the ability to perform under pressure, both of which are of the utmost importance.
For an anonymous freshman, the selection process seems unfair. “I can sing. I can dance. But math? No way. Does Mr. Park expect us to derive formulas during performances? If he doesn’t, there’s no reason I have to take that test to join the band. Come on, I totally have the hair for it,” he said.
Other students are worried about Park setting the stage for other teachers to partake in activities usually meant for younger people. Park has already submitted a request to try out for Senior SING! as the lead dancer for the boys’ hip-hop crew. “His idea for our theme was Math in Space, following the story of a student who calculates the volume and surface area of each planet, narrating his adventures through song and dance. It’s even worse than the Soph-Frosh themes,” senior Jonathan Lessinger said.