Talk of the Town - Time for pi May 20 2004

And there's a big slice in Valleybrook Estates

David Custer is married, teaches math, and drives a long-ass way to work. The constant commuter lives in Roswell but treks to Conyers on weekdays to teach at Salem High School. After driving long distances, you'd think no one would want to talk to teenagers, let alone teach them. But at the end of the day, he comes home to his lovely wife, Christina, who is also a teacher, and they discuss their school days.

Creative Loafing: So, why math?

David: Why do I teach it? I love it, I guess I was always good at it. I never thought I would be teaching it, but I started taking math courses in college and the next thing I knew, I almost had a degree in it.

How much do you talk about math in the house?

David: That'd be a better question for my wife. I can't help it. It gets the best of me sometimes. Every now and then, I'll get really excited about something and I'll come home and go on about that.

Do you like teaching at Salem?

David: Salem's a great place. It's a good school to get started teaching and it's a very nurturing place.

What time you have to get up to be at school at 8:30 a.m.?

David: To leave from here it takes about half an hour, so I need to be able to leave by 7 a.m. Any later than that and the traffic gets me.

In the guest room's bright green walls and open closet, we find that David is keeping a very lazy secret.

David: Since we really don't have too much closet space, I guess it's kinda my closet.

You have your shirts' sleeves already rolled up.

David: I hate having long sleeves. I guess it's the tight buttons on my wrists. It drives me crazy.

On the wall next to David's closet is a picture of Christina's grandfather in front of a number-covered chalkboard.

David: Christina's grandfather is a math teacher.

Christina: He's got his sleeves rolled up, too.

Do you consider yourself a math nerd?

David: Yeah, no doubt.

Christina: He's definitely a math nerd. It's a good thing because he is really passionate about what he does

Are you a natural red?

David: Mostly. It depends on the time of year, though, 'cause in the summer it gets a lot more red.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like Doogie Howser?

David: Somebody used to always rub it in that I looked like Doogie Howser, um, I think it was three years ago, there was a ninth-grade girl who could never let it down.

Christina: It seems like less, though, as you get older, you know?

David: Of course now it's Chuckie's dad from "Rugrats" and the guy from Weezer.

But I bet Chuckie's dad doesn't know 31 digits of pi.