The other day I read an interesting article in Metro by Jack Werner. Jack probably has one of the best jobs in the world, getting paid to debunk hoaxes and scams all day long. Read an interview with Jack here (sorry – only in Swedish).
His article caught my interest since it mentioned a french source, the site Danstonchat.com. Having lived in France I thought it would be fun to visit this site and also read the anonymously published comment in its original language and context.
Curious as I am I searched on Google for the profile name – Xavi91x – and the word “élève” (the french word for student) – of the person who provided the quote mentioned above. The second result was the professional homepage of Rémi, a teacher at the maths department of Université Paris-Sud.
Still curious, I sent Rémi an email in french asking him if he could be the teacher that “has been doing the rounds in Swedish media”.
Rémi replied quickly and was a bit reserved at first about my email but confirmed that he had in fact been”threatening to reveal who would be killed off in the upcoming season of hit series Game of Thrones” in his classes during September and October 2013. He also mentioned that one of the students had alerted him of the comment on DTC and that this comment describes very accurately the actual event. Therefore he felt safe enough to include a link to the comment and a the quote “Mon prof de maths est un génie” describing him as a genious.
Rémi also writes that he doesn’t seek a lot of publicity so he has not bothered to make himself known to any of the newspapers and media that have written about his teaching methods. He is appalled that such a “ridiculous number of articles” have been written on this subject. And, he adds, that he is surprised that no one else than me has been in contact with him to follow up the story.
When I asked him if he would remove any references to Game of Thrones from his homepage, since others might find him the way I did, the answer was No. So I asked Rémi for his permission to write this blog post, which he kindly gave.
To sum things up – Rémi Leclerq is, probably, the teacher “everyone” has been writing about. So maybe this story is not “specifically designed to appeal to us” as Jack Werner wrote.
If I am wrong – which is of course possible – we can conclude that at least one teacher uses these unconventional teaching methods. Since I am not a journalist I can not do the proper followup of this story to verify all sources, but I would have loved to meet Rémi who seems to be a very nice person, do an interview with him and speak to his students to confirm the veracity of this story.
On the other hand, if I am wrong I have at least had a nice coffee break writing this blog post
DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with the makers of Game of Thrones.