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Behind the Catchphrases of Math Teacher Stuart Hamilton

   A student of math teacher Stuart Hamilton can notice patterns in the lessons of the energetic educator. Patterns between different functions and various equations, but most prevalent of all, in Hamilton’s own diction. With a collection of uncanny catchphrases applicable to any circumstance, Hamilton forms a special learning environment. However, simple as these catchphrases may be, each one of them paints a picture that delves deeply into his own past.

“It may seem apparent, but it just ain’t so”

   Often, while describing a tricky theorem, Hamilton exclaims this to show that the most probable solution is not the correct one. This saying originates from Hamilton’s career as an ornithologist in Australia. 

   While leading a research expedition in the Northern Territory, one amateurish scientist identified a bird as an Australian Ringneck Parrot. However, Hamilton quickly recognized a mistake and came to the rescue, discovering that the bird in question was actually a Galah Cockatoo. Hamilton victoriously concluded, “It may seem a parrot, but it just ain’t so,” which then transformed into the signature catchphrase Hamilton still uses today.

“I’m in agreement with that” 

   Rather than saying, “correct,” Hamilton instead chooses to say this to a student with a right answer. This can be related to the hard times of the Great Recession of 2008. Hamilton, with no other choice, had to turn to a life of high-profile art theft. 

   This particular saying stems from one of his most notable escapades, in which he and his partner, an old acquaintance from his time in Scotland, had their eyes set on the Mona Lisa. 

   After meticulous planning, the day of the theft came. Once all visitors had left the Louvre, Hamilton entered the exhibit by ascending through a glass window in the roof while his partner cut the power. However, Hamilton soon noticed a hitch in the plan: without power, they had no light. And, of course, he had forgotten to pack flashlights. Hamilton made his way through the hall and felt for the frame. 

   Feeling something protruding, he made a victorious exclamation to signal in his partner, who had his own reservations. “This IS the Mona Lisa, right?” the partner said. Despite the fact that he wasn’t sure, Hamilton responded confidently with a solid “Right.” 

   He tore the painting from the frame and swiftly made for the exit. However, as daylight approached, he realized the gravity of his mistake, for it was not the Mona Lisa that he had stolen, but a framed sign depicting the directions to the bathroom. 

   Hamilton, from that moment on, vowed never to assert his correctness so strongly ever again, electing instead to simply assert that he is “in agreement” with whomever he is speaking to.

The “Gym” analogy 

   Hamilton often makes a comparison between math problems and lifting weights in the gym adjacent to his classroom, saying that while you are not truly achieving anything, you are building your adeptness in both fields. This comes from Hamilton’s stint as an Arnold Schwarzenegger body double after placing second in the 1998 Mr. Universe competition. Despite their numerous differences, Schwarzenegger took a liking to Hamilton and his antics, proclaiming, “For Stuart, there are no shortcuts— everything is reps, reps, reps. Ja.” 

“I studied how submarines move”: Hamilton makes this statement occasionally to show his mathematical prowess. For the most part, it is a true statement. One thing is of note, though: Hamilton fails to mention what he did in the aftermath. After extensive research, I have come to a jarring conclusion: Hamilton used his degree to pilot a prototype nuclear submarine in the Royal Navy. This wasn’t a typical submarine, however; this submarine was involved in many incidents throughout the world. It could trigger hurricanes, tropical storms and even cause the odd events of the Bermuda Triangle. However, Hamilton, upon discovering the power that lay before him, immediately relinquished it, deciding that no one man should have such a destructive capability. He left the program without the approval of his superiors, resulting in his exile. This also explains why he moved to Japan and eventually to the United States.

“Training your neurons”: Hamilton often states that his goal is to “train your neurons” into thinking differently and efficiently. This comes from Hamilton’s tenure as head scientist of Elon Musk’s pet project Neuralink back in 2016. He was developing a microchip that could be surgically implanted in one’s brain to allow someone to move things with his or her mind. However, Hamilton, disenchanted with Elon Musk’s views, decided to leave and join Pinewood.

 Hamilton has seen it all. He has gone through many lives, just to end up at Pinewood. 

   The next time Hamilton is lecturing, take the opportunity to wonder which escapade inspired the words he chose for the given situation.

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