The Mind-Bending Third Term of Calculus 12 and Mr P

Thursday, May 05, 2022 - By: Sajeev S, Whittall ‘23

Calculus, a subject most people cringe at with the mere sound of it, is, quite honestly, the hardest subject I have taken in my existence on this earth.

Now don’t get me wrong, the class is wonderful, the people are wonderful and, most importantly, our Calculus teacher, Mr Prokopchuk, is quite literally the “G.O.A.T” at math. The reason is not just because he can find the derivative of a limit when x is approaching infinity but because, no matter how much his students fail, or how terribly we (I) do, he still teaches us equally, without bias, and with passion. Calculus is one of those subjects that requires heavy practice and constant review to keep your math-solving skills up to par. Ginny C, Mack ‘22 talked about how her “test scores have been lacking” lately in an interview earlier this week.  
Another student, Zander L, Ellis ‘23 spoke on how “People don't realize how challenging this course really is. If students want to succeed, they need to practice and practice and practice - a habit I should really pick up soon.” Calculus becomes difficult not because of the pure math itself but the difficulty lies within the setup of the questions. Many questions in Calculus stimulate the mind to think outside of the box. Mr Prokopchuk’s tests are almost always 80 percent word problems. He truly does believe in the definition of an extending-level question.
Very rarely does Mr P’s elite mind become an issue (unless he is making our test) during Calculus; we like to think of it as an accommodation. My peers and I will always wonder what the inside of that man's brain looks like. I imagine it to be a labyrinth of complex parabolas.

Sajeev S, Whittall ‘23

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