Why don’t more American adolescents scale the mathematical bell curve and reach…average? The answers lie in “Why Do We Have to Learn This Crap?”: Twenty-Five Days in the Life of a Basic-Math Teacher. Wayne Muncie teaches the Basic Math classes at Sunset Bay High School. He enjoys his students—most of them, anyway—and the challenge—usually—of educating them. His students share their experiences and interests with him, which—despite his assessment anxiety, the stress of managing his classroom and his end of the freshman hall, and a harrowing three-month stint as a driver-education instructor—keeps him young. Wayne doesn’t hunt or fish or attend church, so he is something of an oddity in Sunset Bay, a conservative Oregon city that once had thriving fishing and timber industries. He reads, observes, and takes walks with his wife and dog. He doesn’t consider himself exceptional, but the depth of his outer and inner worlds, and the humor that pervades both, are revealed when he is simultaneously talking and listening—that is, writing in his diary.