Our celebration of Groundhog Day and Groundhog Day continues with our second question about Phil and his time spent in Punsutawney.

Artifact

This scene from Groundhog Day.

Guiding Questions

  • How long has Bill Murray (“Phil”) been practicing throwing cards into a hat?
  • Has Phil spent more time throwing cards into a hat than you’ve spent in Math class this year? Your entire high school career?
  • How good can you get at throwing cards into a hat after practicing for, say, 5 minutes? Can you make three in a row?

Solution

Rita: It would take a year to get good at this.

Phil: No. Six months. Four to five hours a day and you’d be an expert.

6 months = about 180 days.

180 days x 4 hours/day = 720 hours.

180 days x 5 hours/day = 900 hours.

Depending on the length of your school calendar and class periods, students are probably in Math class for about 200 hours/year. So that would be a “no” on Math-in-a-year vs. Phil-with-a-hat. But a “possibly” to Math-in-a-high-school-career vs. Phil-with-a-hat.

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