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SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Jerry Brown, visiting a school this morning to promote his November ballot initiative to raise taxes, stepped inside for a moment before the media with a sixth-grade math and science class.

It was first period, so the Democratic governor asked the students what they'd learned the previous day.

"We learned about, like, some poems and stuff," one student said.

"Poems?" Brown said. "I thought this was math."

"Yeah," the student said.

Brown said he'd "like to learn more about that," then went on to call Spanish "cool" and to say he was "very excited" to be visiting.

But the thought of poems preoccupied him.

"I want to find out more about these mathematical poems," Brown said. "What is an acrostic?"

The student offered an explanation. An acrostic poem is one in which the first word or letter of a line or paragraph can be used to spell a word or other message.

Brown's predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, once made headlines with an acrostic veto message starting with "F" and ending with "you," though that hasn't been Brown's style.

"That's hard to do that, isn't it?" Brown asked the student. "I think it's hard to do that."


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