Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Thoughts about Math

I had a very odd thought today. It was a totally off the wall thought that I want to share here in case someone out there knows what the heck I am talking about. This odd thought concerned math. You know, Math. The school subject that a lot of us absolutely hated and couldn't wait to be rid of. (except we know now as adults that we are never actually rid of it, it follows us forever)

In an effort to get my mind off of all of the stress in my life, I sat down this morning to read the new Elin Hilderbrand novel, "The Island". In the book, there is a small part where one character was talking about how her son was at one point failing Trigonometry. She sent her husband to deal with the child's teacher at the parent/teacher conference, and he dealt with it by having a year long affair with said teacher. In recounting the story, she remarked that the worst part was that her son never actually learned any math that year. The teacher was passing him solely based on the affair with his father.

Now, as a former educator, there is so much I could say about that whole situation. SO MUCH. I could really go to town on this subject, but I'm not going to today. My mind went a totally different direction on this subject. I started thinking about higher math in general. Now, I never took Trig or Calculus. I just barely passed Algebra and I believe I passed Statistics, but I can't be absolutely sure. I liked to tell people that I just couldn't do it because it was too hard, and I just wasn't a math person. And this may well have been a little true. I was always artistic and very right brained, but mostly I realize now I just didn't want to concentrate and do the work required for these subjects. There were just too many things I would rather have been doing. There were dances to go to, boys to meet, the mall to hang out it, my ballet recitals to practice for, and art to create. There didn't seem to be a single moment allotted in my day to devote to learning higher math concepts.

Well, good Lord! Here was my thought for today: If I knew then what I know, I would probably be a math whiz. A mathmetician probably. With all the obligations in my life now as an adult and a parent, I would love it, LOVE IT, if someone told me that all I really needed to do for the next hour was sit down and learn math. Not referee fights between my children, worry about what to cook for dinner, or whether the bills are paid, just sit down and learn math. I almost think I would possibly find it relaxing.

But I guess that is the story of all our lives. If only we knew then what we know now. Oh, the things I would do if only I had that information back then.

What do you think you would do/be now if you knew then all that you know now???

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh My God!!! Save me from myself!!

I am so in trouble right now.

Two weekends ago the kids and I spent the afternoon at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's MD for the Chesapeake Bay Folk Festival. We heard great music, saw terrific vendors, ate great food (crabcakes to die for!!!!) and met a fabulous local author. Her name was Rena Cherry Brown and she has written a riveting children's book called "Where do I Belong?" She was nice enough to read her book to my kids and I took beautiful pictures of the moment.

I had planned on writing all about our experiences when I got home. But then I got busy visiting other local events, and figured I would file all of these stories away until I could sit down and really do them literary justice.

And that would finally be today, except something happened between then and now to totally destroy my concentration. To give you a reference point, it has taken me about 45 minutes just to type the previous two paragraphs. (sad, I know)

Are you familiar with the Chesapeake Bay mosquito? I have found that there are two types of mosquitoes here on the coast. The first type lives here all year round. They are annoying, but not completely debilitating. They bite you, you itch a little bit, and in a day or so you are fine. The species that I came in contact with at my mother-in-law's house two days ago is a much more vindictive, evil variety of pest. They are very small and jet black. I don't know if they affect everyone like they do myself, but when they bite me, I can actually feel poison shooting into my body. Two days later, I am now scratching my appendages with hairbrushes. I am unable to concentrate on anything for very long other than the maddening itches that don't seem to find any relief. Calamine Lotion, doesn't do a thing for me. Benadryl, forget about it. I have even tried holistic remedies that do nothing but keep me busy during the application process, then let me down completely afterwards as I proceed to scratch them off.

So, with apologies to Ms. Cherry Brown, I must end this post today so I can wallow in my agony. I promise to truly write a post that will do her beautiful book justice as soon as I recover the use of my brain cells. Until then, please check out her website at and check out her book "Where do I belong?" You'll be glad you did.