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Since 1988, Murray has lived in middle school and high school classrooms.  She’s witnessed situations between students, between students and teachers, and has experienced the spectrum of  teaching styles and habits.  She’s learned a lot from just watching and listening. Maybe you’re experiencing a school-related problem and could use some advice or insight from a different perspective.  It just may be that a large ball of aluminum foil could be of some help to you.
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Questions and Answers Via Murray

 


 

Dear Murray,

I stumbled across your picture on the internet and immediately fell in love. I know that might sound crazy. But I do believe in love at first.

That being said, would you go out with an older guy? I was actually born in 1982. But until recently I stopped growing sometime around 1989. I do intend to bulk up soon though.

Anyway, I've enclosed a picture of me, next to my owner's shoes. I currently weigh about 60 pounds. I don't mind bigger women. In fact, I find it very attractive!

Please write me back. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

WALRUS

Well, Walrus, you certainly know how to make a girl blush! Your letter comes as a shock to me, and you take a wonderful photograph.... For all my twenty-one years, I've remained chaste (and I'm sure you know how easy it is for a sedentary sphere of my size to remain so!). So let me choose my words carefully: I am touched by your straightforwardness and look forward to corresponding with you. You are also welcome to become my Facebook Friend!
Search for my profile at
ask.Murray@yahoo.com!

Affectionately, Murray
 

DEAR MURRAY:
COULD YOU GIVE ME YOUR VIEWPOINT ON THE INCONSISTENT TRIAD? IS IT A NECESSARY PHILOSOPHICAL TOOL TO DISCOVERY AND IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO COVER IT IN AN INTRODUCTORY COLLEGE COURSE IN PHILOSOPHY? COULD YOU GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT?
YOUR BIGGEST FAN--RW

 Dear RW:
To remind you, readers, an
inconsistent triad consists of three propositions of which at most two can be true. Now, ArDubya, to answer your question: An inconsistent triad is indeed a vital philosophical tool. It is therefore a necessary term and entirely appropriate to be addressed in Introduction to Philosophy. Finally, three monkeys typing for thee weeks in a room may make the top Oddball story on Keith Olbermann. So long for now, R.W., and thanks for all the fish!
Murray


MURRAY: DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS? WAS IT A REAL PLACE--OR--IS IT WHERE MANKIND RETREATS MENTALLY TO RECHARGE OURSELVES. LEGEND SAYS MY ANCESTORS CAME FROM THERE. COULD YOU GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT PLEASE? THANK YOU!!!!!!

"WAY DOWN BELOW THE OCEAN--

THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE--

HE MAY BE;

WAY DOWN........." 

 HAIL ATLANTIS!!!!!!!

 

Dear “Hail”: I know enough about Atlantis to attempt an answer. Atlantis existed and continues to exist; most of humankind, regrettably, has stopped believing in its existence, which makes it very difficult for you to find it these days. Tectonic shiftings between your ears move plates amid volcanic eruptions, causing now an Atlantis, now an Asgard, now a Valhalla, to sink below your sight. Silly Rabbit, every place you go is real, whether you are really “there” or not! And if, indeed, your ancestors are from Atlantis, would you ask them if they can get me Aquaman’s autograph? Thanks!
Your pal, Murray

 

 

Murray: Would you know what the air-speed velocity of an African hummingbird might be? Could you give me some insight? -- RW

The Simple Answer to your question is: High enough to remain a testimony to the eternal avian miracle -- the poetry of flight. Hummingbirds delight in their rare capacity to not simply fly but also to hover while in flight -- a truly wondrous paradox! It is a shame that humans have yet to master such a feat and yet unknowingly possess the ability to do the same. It is the act of Being Still that escapes humanity's grasp. By the way, Mr. L was flabbergastedly overjoyed to read your letter after thirty years of flight. He hopes you fly, he hopes you hover, he hopes you are Being Still and is happy you're Still Being.

Your Pal, Murray


Dear Murray,
I write for a text book company. Can you tell me what students and teachers like best, and dislike the most, about their school text books?

Thanks, and keep up the silver sheen.
Sincerely,
 Lisa O'Hara
Senior Project Editor
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill
Reading Department
2 Penn Plaza, 21st Floor New York, New York  10121

Dear Lisa,
Thanks for writing! Wow! Word sure gets around fast! I’ll post your letter and see if anyone out there will share their opinion.

Hello Murray,  Mr. Villanueva here.  I am working on a painting in 015 and I can't seem to finish it.  The painting is about my struggles to figure out the math that would help me determine the numerical alias for my inner llama.  The only part that is incomplete is the section marked "inner compartment".  My question is, What would the inner compartment include?  Do you need to see the painting?  It’s quite large.  It’s an old table.   Thank you in advance for your wise words.
 
Mr. V.,
The numerical alias for your inner llama may be arrived at by considering this question: Is it the whimsy of your precision you wish to compartmentalize ((W)p+[IC]=IL), or the precision of your whimsy ((P)w=IL-[IC])? Do the walls of your compartment stop at your ears, or do they reach beyond your sight?

Quoting that old song from the 40’s by Bix Biederbeck, “Wherever you go, there you are.” So be there, Mr. V! Regressing concentric shapes – either on a flat surface, or in three dimensions – are a place to start. Choosing if the shapes converge will go a little further for you to find your answer. In other words, does your llama travel timeless trails, or does it stand silent yet sentient inside a zoo? Thank you, and thanks to all artists, by the way, for your art!

Murray, long time, no see!  I hope the brisk climate of Room 106 is treating you well.  Mr. L is inevitably keeping you well adorned with beads and such.

  I have several questions for you, Ms. Murray...
 
1.  Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the car-pool lane?
2.  Why doesn't broccoli come in a can?
 
3.  When the French swear do they say pardon my English?
That should give you some food for thought.  Enjoy -- AB

Dear AB,
1. When, indeed, do people stop being persons and become cargo? A hearse carrying a corpse CAN use the carpool lane, but should it? A police officer spies a hearse in a car-pool lane with no visible passengers. The officer will still have to pull the hearse over, investigate, etc. Not only does this pose an impediment to the flow of traffic, it also diverts the police officer from his/her job of keeping us safe.

2. The charm of broccoli, I’m told, is its texture. Canned broccoli would be limp, droopy, and tasteless. Broccoli is one of those vegetables that can only be preserved by freezing.

3. I’m sure French-speaking people excuse their verbal faux pas as graciously as does anyone else.

And, yes, my home in Room 106 is delightfully cool and invigorating! Several students are keeping sweaters and blankets stored on the shelves to stay warm for class. Some complain, some appreciate a cooler classroom, but all of Mr. L’s students are working hard and doing good work, so it must be working!

Dear Readers,
Before answering last week’s letters, I am so happy to thank Mr. Rich Ruggiero for single-handedly creating and managing this space for me. Rich is a very busy guy around Vernon Schools. With all he has to do, I know how precious his time must be, and I’m deeply grateful for his energy, creative talents, and his enthusiasm.
Thanks, Rich!

Darling Murray ....
    When I was a naive, sweet child back in the early 70’s, I was subjected to a lot of teasing by two young men in my CWP (Current World Problems) class at my high school. One was dressed as a German soldier and the other one claimed to be related to me. How can I let them know that despite their relentless and cruel treatment I turned out quite well??

Thank You!!
A Joisey gal in Virginia
 
Dear Joisey Gal,
The fact that you are able today to regard yourself positively is testament to your strong character, to your perseverance in overcoming your memory of cruelties from your high school years. Do note that I wrote “overcoming.” You still have a way to go before coming to terms with your memories.

“Dressed in a German uniform?” What sort of high school did you attend? Regardless, most young people walk a social tightrope through the hallways of high school: they want to be different, but they are afraid lest they be branded weird. I’ll bet if you met these two fellows today they would remember -- and would be mortified -- how they picked on you. I’ll bet they feel sorry for what they did. As adults, they hopefully will realize what they did was wrong. There is a place where kidding around with friends becomes teasing. Some find that place sooner than others.

But to your question: How can you let them know? Contact your high school class reunion committee or your high school. Visit sites such as Classmates.com. Try a Google search. If, as you write, one is related to you, then contact relatives. If you find them, write them a “hi-how-are-you?” Was it Shakespeare who wrote: “Revenge is a dish best served cold”? Enclose a photo of yourself in your favorite outfit and your best smile. Have you ever heard the saying “Living well is the best revenge”? Live well, Joisey Gal!

Murray, I just wanted to say thank you for keeping your eye on my friend, Mr. L. I was fortunate enough to be a college classmate with Mr. L from decades ago, and I am glad he is doing so fine. I have shared some Murray beads with about 20 first graders who know the story of Murray !
Jan

Dear Jan,
Mr. L remembers you as an always-sweet and upbeat young lady, part of a close, eccentric, and electric circle of friends from his days at McKendree College. He’s not surprised you’re teaching, as it appeared even back then that you were born to it. I don’t get around much, so I hope some day you’ll travel from Missouri and visit me in my classroom.

Dear Murray :
I have your picture on my refrigerator because you remind me every day that there are still some good human beings on this earth.  Thanks for your years of conservation wisdom, and we all look forward to many more years of expanded counsel. Congratulations on your latest success!

 Respectfully,
 Linda P.


 
Dear Linda, I’ve never really thought of myself as a human being, but I appreciate your compliment. The lesson is that good human beings are everywhere. Most are hard to find, because they usually keep their good deeds quiet. I’m glad you’re listening. Thank you for your kind words! I think it’s COOL to be on your fridge!

 
 
 
 
I'm Murray. Welcome to my web site.