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Tangents have a mathematical meaning related to Euclidean Geometry that students at Wyoming Catholic College learn about during their freshman year. However at the school tangents usually refer to a common, and as many students and professors, including Theresa Ramsay and Dr. Stanley Grove consider, essential component of classroom conversations, the "turning" or "swerve" of the conversation toward a topic incidentally related to the primary and original focus and away from the "per se" essential and original focus.

Some students do not entirely like tangents, however, and Dr. Henry Zepeda agrees with them, as he famously communicated during a class whilst he was a student at Thomas Aquinas College, a portion of the following video known as the "Shut up and Die Sequence".