I have been reading an online discussion group for people who are preparing for the radiological physics board exams, and happened upon a post complaining about the physics educational requirements. Imagine that? They actually want you to have a physics background before they will certify you as a physicist. The nerve! Anyway, this person said that she is good in the clinic but doesn't think she would be able to pass a Quantum Physics or Deferential (sic) Equations class. Of course I could not resist the urge to mock this (for those who were not forced to take advanced math, the subject is Differential Equations). Instead of doing it on the public discussion group (because I am not a complete ass), I send PDM a snarky email quoting this comment. I knew he would be sure to appreciate the humor of it all. And indeed, he did. This is what he sent back:
"Well, wasn't that the most well-mannered 2nd order inhomogenous equation? Always saying 'no, sir' and 'yes, please'. So agreeable when I required it to have constant coefficients. And not the slightest peep of complaint when I changed the initial conditions of the problem."
"Oh, you're so right. Most inhomogeneous equations nowadays are so disrespectful, requiring you to use the Method of Frobenius--or even numerical integration, for Heaven's sake! But that equation was so courteous--it even offered to transform itself into an integral equation and solve itself using Green's function techniques. Talk about good upbringing!"
"No doubt, no doubt. I've never known an equation so willing to go out of its way on my behalf. Manners will show."