Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jenga

I visited my high school after I had started college. I stopped my to see Mrs. C., who had been my Geometry, Algebra II, and Calculus teacher, as well as my homeroom teacher. Homeroom was kind of awesome because she had a daughter at a different high school. We would talk about crazy-ass things our parents said or did, and she would get advice about her daughter. Visiting her classroom, I expected to just sort of say, "Hi" and maybe chat with her while the students did some in-class work, or something. Um, nope, she announced that I would be teaching the class about arithmetic and geometric series. She took a seat and kind of smiled and nodded while I stumbled my way through it.

This "blast from the past" is brought to you my thoughts today. I am thinking about patterns and series, coincidences and near-misses. Maybe also Newton's laws: how once a ball is rolling, it seems to keep on moving. Luck and good fortune pile up, and so does the crap. Often, from the right angle, there is a pattern in everything. The hard part is finding that angle: to stare at the picture long enough for the stereogram to emerge. And sometimes, no matter how you try to put the pieces together, the common factor, the design remains inscrutable.

2 comments:

roonie said...

You were quite pensive.

Peppermint Patty said...

Wow - I'm impressed that you taught Mrs. C's class! I would have been too nervous, she always made me slightly nervous. She would probably be happy to know that I gave up caffeine over 10 years ago; she actually told me not to drink coffee before her 1st period class because I was too hyper!