Here's something triggered by New Prof's post on her experience with a recent counseling session at her institution.
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Place: A high profile science and engineering institution in India.
Time: Eons of internet time. Maybe a year ago.
Occasion: Counseling session for the in-coming undergrad students.
A part of the session is devoted to informing the students about what they can expect to study and learn in different streams of specialization. Typically, someone from each stream makes a short presentation, with an overview of the curriculum and the philosophy behind its design.
For the math stream, the professor used the pitch that learning at the undergrad level would be significantly different from what they did at high school -- in that it's not just about learning new concepts, but also about rigorous proofs. The experience, he suggested, might even be a bit like learning a new language.
He then went on to describe all the exciting courses designed for the math students by the department.
During the Q&A, a parent commented that while the curriculum is all great and fine, it still lacked something very, very important: a course on Vedic Mathematics. He wondered how the learned faculty at this great institution could neglect this important field of knowledge, developed by the great sages of ancient India.
The temperature in the hall dropped by a few degrees in anticipation of how the professor was going to handle this tricky question -- a bouncer from the right field [pardon the mixed metaphor].
The professor's answer is what I call an Epic Win (I'm relying on my memory here, so this is not an exact quote):
You remember what I said about our curriculum -- that it's a bit like learning a new language? You see, when you learn a new language, you learn the prose first, before getting to the great poems in that language!