Everything You Need to Know to Pass Math Class: Order of Operations

angry math symbolsYes, in continuing this wildly popular series (so popular, in fact, that these posts receive less comments than a normal post, not to mention result in a 4,000% increase in death threats, from 0 on average to 0 after posting these*), it’s about time I covered math class.

*If you don’t understand this, then you’ll probably need more than this one post to help you with your math skills.

One of the basic things you need in math is a good understanding of the order of operations. That way, when presented with an equation like “(2(4+x-3×2)/(4*5+21-3)5)+ 3+8!-(7×3/6xy)*2xyz+3abcdefgh,” you don’t start crying immediately. Instead, you can calmly remind yourself that there’s an order of operations for things like this, and then start crying, because you don’t remember what that order is.

So, a good tip when it comes to remembering the order of operations (definition of which is: the operations’ order) is to remember PEMDAS. PEMDAS, like most words in all capitals, such as US, IMF, FBI, and ICC, is an acronym.

(SCUBA is the exception. I mean, sure, people might try to tell you it is an acronym, but you can go SCUBA diving. And there is SCUBA equipment and certification. You can be a SCUBA diver. Don’t try to tell me that you can be an IMF diver, or go FBI diving.)

PEMDAS stands for “People Entertaining Mollusks by Drawing Amazonian Slugs.” As you can see, this is something that is handy to remember if you are ever in a situation where you need to entertain mollusks. Such as when you are in the deep, halfway-submerged-in-the-ocean dungeon you will be sent to because you didn’t know the order of operations.

Seriously, though, this tells you nothing about the order of operations. Therefore, I’ve listed it here for you, in what I like to call math notation: ()2*/+-. If that looks like a text emoticon, that’s because it is, coincidentally, the symbol for an oval-headed person with a large hoop earring and bruised neck, wearing a shirt slung over one shoulder who has only one leg (If you don’t see it, don’t worry. Many people don’t, at first. So, turn your head sideways. Now you see it, obviously).

Now that you know what the order of operations is, you need to know when to actually use this knowledge. After all, not all of your math problems will look exactly like the example I provided above. Most, if not all of them, will be harder, and may or may not include the whole alphabet.

However, I’ve got a good rule of thumb for you to follow. When you see a ‘(‘ or ‘)’, ask yourself: is your math teacher plagiarizing from High School Humor Blog? (I’m working on this parentheses addiction, though). (Except instances like that last bit show you what an uphill battle parentheses rehab can be).

Seriously, though, in this instance you should ask yourself if you need to refer to the order of operations. If the answer is yes, then don’t use them. If the answer is no, use them. This stems from the basic, accepted logic that most teens are wrong 90% of the time, when it comes to math, so doing the opposite of what you’d normally do means that you’ll be right 90% of the time.

If, after all of these tests, you are going to use the order of operations, proceed with caution. Most teens will make some sort of careless mistake, such as adding when they were supposed to take the delineated derived square root of the cosine.

The only way to make sure you don’t make any of these mistakes is to get the answer without working through the problem. If you can’t pick the answer out of thin air, or read your classmates’ minds, or guess, then I have bad news: you will probably still get the answer wrong.

So, please remember: even though you may have memorized the order of operations so well that you can recite them in your dreams in your dreams in your dreams (one word: mathception), you will, by nature of being a teen, still get the answer wrong.

Thus, when you get invariably tossed in the dungeon for getting a bad score, it’s important to remember that it’s Amazonian, not African, slugs that Mollusks like to see drawn. Because otherwise, you might get eaten alive by oysters. And a slimier death does not exist.

Last year, still in the spirit of forecasting for classes, we offered advice in “The Application Guaranteed to Get you In.” In a question-and-answer format, we provide the right answers to use on your class applications, including which organs to offer as bribes to get into the class.

The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need on Texting Etiquette

funny texts

click to zoom

When you go on vacation for spring break (to exotic and tropical locations like Hawaii, Palm Springs, and Siberia) you will no longer get to see your 5,000,002 Facebook friends in person, daily. However, you still need to stay in touch.

Sure, you can use a smartphone and go on Facebook, but if you really want that person-to-person connection, you need to employ something that requires the “phone” part of your phone: texting.

Yes, although we’ve offered you brilliant emoticons and texting explanations, we have yet to cover actual texting etiquette. This is because, of course, teens generally have about as much etiquette as cats have warm unconditional love. In both cases, I’m sure the root of the problem is genetic.

However, that does not mean that we should not try to force etiquette upon teens, mostly because etiquette is such a hip word. I mean, it starts “eti,” and then throws in a “qu,” followed by an “ette.” That’s definitely more hip than, say, “manners” or “custom” (you should be aware, however, that manners will soon be substituted out for the less-sexist “humanners”).

Therefore, I present to you the basic rules of texting etiquette.

Receiving Invitations

You should never decline a text-ed invitation to something, even if it is an invitation to a concert hosted by a country-western group that only uses spoons, washboards, and live livestock as instruments. Do you have any idea how rude this would be?

See, the nice thing about texting is that people don’t know when you get their text. You could check your phone everytime you exhale, or you could check your phone right before the new year, in an attempt to start the year with a clean ‘slate.’

Therefore, all you need to do is pretend that you didn’t receive the texted invitation until after the event already happens, and apologize for being so “careless.” 99 times out of 100, you’ll be in the clear. The other 1 time, well, let’s just say your friend knows one of the band members, and they are willing to stop by your house and play a quick set, provided you aren’t allergic to cows, pigs, horses, or donkeys.

Homework Questions

You forgot what your math homework is. What are you going to do? Text your friends, of course, asking them what the homework is.

However, you can’t just text this question immediately. You’ll look like a nerd. What kind of person uses texting just to ask about homework? A nerd, obviously.

Instead, you should slowly lead up to this question with a normal conversation. For example:

You: “Wat’s up?”
Friend: “Nm. Y?”
You: “Dunno. I was jus thinkin bout things”
Friend: “Like wat?”
You: “Well, I was thinkin about my pet fish”
Friend: “Wat?”
You: “Yeah, I was wonderin if every 18 days, my fish reproduced, producing another 20 fish, how many fish would I have after four months?”
Friend: “Wat? R u ok?”
You: “I’m fine”
Friend: “Dude u don’t even hav pet fish”
You: “I no that, but…doesnt that sound like a math problem?”
Friend: “It sounds like u hav a problem, period”
You: “Haha. Ur hilarious. Btw, wats our math hw?”
Friend: “Did u text me just to get the hw?”
You: “WAT! Noooo way. No. Of course not”
Friend: “Oh. K then. #s 1-99, multiples of 3, and #s 112-384, omitting #158 and #279.”


While abbreviations can be helpful in shortening your total text-time from 80% of your waking life to 75% of your waking life, you need to be aware of a few things. First, you probably have some form of a full qwerty keyboard on your phone, so it isn’t as if you have to hit the ‘7’ button four times to get an ‘s.’

With this in mind, abbreviations must be weighed in your mind: is the negative stereotype of the abbreviation worth the time it will save you? For example:

‘Haha’ vs ‘lol’: Do you want to sound like someone who is so shallow a simple “Wat’s up? Jus did the math hw” has you laughing out loud? Probably not, unless you were the one who texted your friend the math homework, plus a…few…additional problems.

‘C ya latr’ vs ‘gtg’: Well, are you leaving because you need to, and have time to sign off to your friend and tell them you’ll see them later, or do you have to seriously find a bathroom immediately to avoid having your bladder explode?

‘Nm’ vs ‘Fuhgeddaboudit’: This one’s easy. Are you from New York? If not, perhaps ‘nm’ is a better choice, unless you plan on joining the mob sometime in the near future.

Early Morning Texts

This, dear reader, is the most important thing on this list, which is why I saved it for last. Do not, under any circumstances, ever text your friend between the hours of 2 AM and 11 AM on a no school day or weekend, EVER. If you do this, you run the risk of waking your friend up.

Do you know what kind of hatred teens can bestow upon the thing that causes one to wake up earlier than necessary? Of course you do; you’re a teen. If you aren’t a teen, but are still reading this: do you remember what happened to the dome of the Vatican in the movie 2012 (if you never saw that movie, here’s a link)? Let’s just say those church bells shouldn’t have woken a certain teen in Italy up so early.

Now that you know how to text with etiquette, I expect the mass quality of teen texts to improve. Of course, if you wanted to spread this message, you could, you know, share this piece with absolutely everybody you’ve ever met, including that one guy you almost ran over when you were driving with your dad and you didn’t see him and now he’s in the hospital with a…fuhgeddaboudit. If you share, we at High School Humor Blog thank you.

If you’re looking for a different post more directly inspired by spring break, here’s “4 Reasons Schools have a Spring Break” from this time last year.

6 Awesome Ways to Wear Your Backpack

A Heavy BackpackToday’s backpack is much different from the backpacks of old. So different, in fact, that if you saw an old backpack you’d probably mistake it for a paper bag. This is understandable, because the earliest backpacks were actually paper bags. People hadn’t even started to wear them on their backs yet, I believe, instead opting to cart them about on horseback, or sometimes, in hard-up families, on a gerbil’s back.

(This is sort of like cars, because early cars were actually horses. It’s also similar to corporations, because early corporations were also horses.)

Today, backpacks range from earth-toned sacks to neon plaid multi-pocketed luggage that also makes coffee and translates five languages.

With increasing backpack size and strength has come increasing backpack weight, though. Now, your average teen student carries 3 textbooks, a binder, 4 notebooks, 2 novels, 12 pens/pencils, 6 pieces of gum, a water bottle and lunch, a graphing calculator, a computer, a generator, a desk, two chairs, an oriental rug, a surround-sound stereo system, a small car, and a maple tree. Today’s backpacks, therefore, usually weigh more than an entire herd of wildebeests (sometimes, if a teen is really messy and disorganized, you may find a wildebeest or two in the backpack itself, often chewing on the gum).

This all means one thing: we should go back to the horse/paper bag/gerbil method. It also means you need to know how to wear your backpack properly.

The Single-Shoulder Method

Want to give off the ultimate “I don’t care” image? Want popularity to boundlessly abound? Of course you do. That’s why this method is so popular. By wearing your backpack on one shoulder you will permanently stunt the growth and development of that side of your body. You’ll grow up and have one shoulder two feet below the other, not to mention that your limp makes it look like you are walking on whatever that artificial material that makes up the inside of pop-tarts is.

And, thus, the coolness factor. You send the message saying, “I don’t care that I will be permanently deformed! I don’t care that most newborn babies walk better than I can! I don’t care that High School Humor Blog is the best blog ever, even though it definitely is! I don’t care, so I must be cool.”

The Traditional Method

No, I don’t mean the method I mentioned above; I mean the traditional way to wear a backpack: on both shoulders, squarely on the back. Sure, you won’t appear cool, but you also won’t need a personal tailor for all your clothes. Plus, if done correctly, you can hold up to seven or eight tons more this way than any other way, because it is more balanced. Now you don’t have to leave your mattress at home; you can take it with you and sleep anywhere.

The Low-Slung Method

Take the traditional method and lower the backpack so it bangs against your ankles while you walk (still on both shoulders). Essentially, this is the best of both worlds. You can carry more because you are balanced, but you also appear cool, because you will grow up with a permanent stoop. On the bright side, you’ll get really good at the Limbo, and we know that’ll never go out of style.

The Forehead Method

Starting with a single-shoulder setup, move the strap up to your forehead. Not only will your hair now spike perfectly, but you will also be able to strengthen your neck muscles to the point where your head butt can break steel.

The Hands-On Method

Essentially, this is a traditional method where you add a hand between the shoulder and strap on each shoulder. This really does nothing, but for some reason is quite common amongst teens. This is probably because it makes it easy to unsling your backpack and hurl it at an oncoming hall monitor, knocking them unconscious and quite possibly crushing them to death.

The Forearms Method

Again, start with a traditional method and then move the straps to the outsides, so they rest upon your incredibly muscular upper-arm. While this may restrict your arm movements to the point where you can only manage to flap helplessly like a clueless bird when you try to wave/fist bump/shake hands/live long and prosper, it is a distinct style that you can make your own.

Forearms or Traditional, Single-Shoulder or Low-Slung, I can guarantee that your backpack probably weighs way too much (or does it way weigh too much? As in “your backpack definitely, like, way, weighs too much, you know what I mean, girl?”). And so, in aims of improving the health of all teens who read this post, I recommend one thing: take the oriental rug out.

Last year in late March, we offered a post by Ted (yes, a rare occurrence) entitled “The Best Addition to Your Perfect Schedule.” As forecasting is still going on, I encourage you to read this post, with the assurance that it will make you feel better about those twenty five study halls you are planning on taking.

Everything You Need to Know to Pass English Class: The Classics

funny english classic novelFor those of you just joining us, this is a continuation of a series of posts that aims to, um, “help” you with your classes, because if you get bad grades it makes us look better.

“Help,” in this case being the help you’d receive if you fell overboard on a boat, called for help, and got tossed a life-preserver, but instead of catching the life-preserver and floating to safety you were knocked unconscious by the surprisingly hefty floatation device and got eaten by sharks/drowned/run over by the boat.

(The first two parts of this series may come in handy during History or Chemistry class).

Thus, today we will tackle* the most difficult aspect of English class, which, for most people, is simply making sense of the jumbled sentences found in the novels themselves.

*Not literally. We’d probably get hurt, because most of these texts weigh more than us, even if we’ve got pads on.

To Kill A Mockingbird

This masterpiece, often referred to as an unparalleled advance in the field of bird hunting by accountants, engineers, politicians, or anyone else that can’t keep track of conversation but wants to appear intelligent, actually has nothing to do with mockingbirds. Once you overcome this misconception, you will have a very easy time understanding the actual plot. For reference’s sake, the main characters are named “Boo,” “Atticus,” and “Mockingbird.”

Lord of the Flies

This book does actually include a “Lord of the Flies,” but it is so confusing that most people purposefully forget that fact. Otherwise, this is basically a mix between the shows “Lost,” “Survivor,” “Extreme Wipeout,” and “The Teletubbies.”

The Red Badge of Courage

Like many books on this list, there is no red badge of courage present in the novel. (This is because of a sneaky marketing tactic where the author names their book after some tangible object, like a bird or badge. Then, when no one finds this object in the novel, they tell all their friends, ridiculing the author for his stupidity in forgetting that this object isn’t in his book. Thus, more people want to be included in the ‘joke’ and the author not only hits the bestseller list but makes it into the immortal high school curriculum).

Actually, that entire parenthetical is all I’ve got on this book, because this book is so bad that I won’t mention specifics without first personally apologizing, in person, very person-ably. Since I can’t do that to all of you, I’ll skip it.

Romeo and Juliet

We all know this one; it’s the classic that has been re-made so many times that people can’t actually keep track of the original anymore. If you know which version came first, please let somebody know; this is probably the reason our economy is failing. This story either involves a song, a musical, an animated movie, or, probably the least likely of all the choices, a Shakespearean play.

Animal Farm

Now, if you think about it, all farms with animals could be considered animal farms. However, not all farm animals are communists, and that’s pretty much all you need to know in regards to this book. It was originally introduced into the curriculum by an undercover KGB agent who didn’t take the time to read to the end of the novel (spoiler: communism doesn’t work too well in its current forms).


A classic classic (and thus twice as bad as all the other classics), Macbeth details a young man’s journey to take revenge on the society that casts him out by building a world-renowned food franchise that will cause obesity for generations to come. Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I’m thinking of MacDonald, another Shakespeare classic (he was quite the prolific author).

The only thing I can tell you about Macbeth is that there are three witches who chant incantations, the only part of which that sticks in my mind being something about a newt, or possibly a salamander. Actually, with the way my memory is after two days of no sleep, for all I know there are three pigs, or three bears, and not three witches.

Brave New Fahrenheit 1984 World (451)

For time’s sake, I’ve clumped these three books into one category: the future could be really bad, or really confusing, or really hot (451 degrees F is above most summer temperatures, except of course in parts of California and certain places on the surface of the sun). To add to the confusion, none of these books has anything to do with Mockingbirds, Lords of Flies, or Badges of Courage (whatever color they may be).

Aren’t English novels just wonderful? They not only provide hours of entertainment (for the English teachers), but also play a valuable role in our daily life, from the seats we use to eat in front of the TV (you really only need 2-3 thick volumes) to the weapons we use to rid our house of mosquitoes.

Last year at this time we offered advice on a different topic with “5 Tips for an Amazing Powerpoint Presentation.” Even if you don’t care for Powerpoints, you should still check it out, because it is one of the original illustrated posts (so it’s got a few great pictures).