(5 years ago, no knowledge on negative numbers)

“Teacher, what’s 8 – 13?”

“No, that’s not possible. You cannot take 13 from 8. 13 is larger than 8.You can take 8 from 13 though. If you were to do so, you would get 5.”

(present, no knowledge on imaginary and complex numbers)

“Teacher, what’s 8 – 13?”

“Well, if you take 8 from 13, that would be 5, and the negative version of that is -5!”

“Teacher, two more questions. Are all numbers real?”

“Of course! All numbers are real! What do you expect?”

“Also, can you take a square root of a negative number?”

“Definitely not.”

(2 years into the future)

“Teacher, are all numbers real?”

“No, there are imaginary and complex numbers too! “

“Can you take the square root of a negative number?”

“Well, yes.”

A perfect example– teachers should not confuse us, and teach us what’s right.

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