Here we collect some of the most memorable anecdotes about Paul Sally, or told by him.Edit
Stories About Paul SallyEdit
One item in the 2005 University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt read "Say Anything serenade for a teacher during class." Armadillo of Darkness, the Snell-Hitchcock team, chose to serenade Sally due to his reputed intolerance for disruptions during class time. A first-year in the class smuggled in a video camera and taped Sally's reaction, but the student was so nervous that the footage is very shaky. Sally was surprisingly good-humored, smiling and hollering gibberish out the window. The footage was later presented to the judges in a montage titled "Say Anything for Paul Sally."
Sally to unsuspecting student: "What do you have in that travel mug?" "Coffee, Sir." "That is good. If it was single-malt whiskey I would have to confiscate it."
He was once described by a journalist as irascible. That made him angry. (Diane Herrmann, 2014)
So this happened around 1999 or 2000. I had just gotten out of one of Sally's analysis classes, and I was talking with a friend in that nice wood-paneled room on the second floor of Eckhart and we hear Sally start to yell at somebody, "You wanna go? Come on, let's go. I'm the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Chicago, and I'll take you down!" We did not hear what had precipitated this exchange, and we did not dare stick our heads out in the hallway to find out. Still one of the stranger things I witnessed in my time at that school.
Said a student during reading week: "Mr. Sally, you are presenting new material. That's not allowed during reading week." Mr. Sally to student: "I'm not presenting new material; in fact, this material is at least one hundred years old." Sally continues: "However, you should be more concerned that you think that this is new material."
When I was an uppity senior in his graduate analysis class, he told us of his postdoctorate days when he struggled with getting results. "It's like I gotta work my a** off to get anything done!" he complained to his advisor. "Yes, hard work is necessary in mathematics," the advisor said, "soon you will find it to be sufficient."(Chicago Maroon interview)
Colleagues more versed in Coleridge than calculus know enough not to tell him, “I can’t do math.” When he hears the confession, whether at a party or on a plane, Sally responds, “That’s funny, I can’t read.” (Boston College Magazine)
Stories Told By Paul SallyEdit
Add stories he told here.