A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Math again
OmegaDotter is asleep in bed with horsies and doggies. OmegaDad has finished playing TradeWinds and is also ensconced in bed. The Dawg is outside barking at the moon and skunks and other wildlife. It's not too late, and now it's time for me to set fingers to keyboard and attempt the math thang once more. Like I said, math just wasn't "it" for me. I hated it. Compared to my dad--whom I regarded with something akin to awe, and who ate differential equations for breakfast--I just couldn't figure the stuff out. And even way back then, in Them Olden Dayes, we had "new math", which didn't help...set theory, oh, yes, but fractions? Hmmm. At the beginning of the year in seventh grade, our teacher began teaching us some stuff that was supposed to be pre-algebra. She struggled. We struggled. One day, about 4 or so months into the school year, our frustrated teacher came in and gave us a test on fractions. Then, she sat down with us and asked us about fractions. It came out that none of us had a clue of what to do with fractions. She immediately tossed out the curriculum and spent the rest of the year teaching us...fractions and percents. It was horrid. Boring. Irritating. Looking back, though, I am so glad she did it. It still didn't make me like math. Ew, yuck, bleah. My dad took solace in my constant scribblings--short stories styled a la Conan Doyle; a carefully composed one-page newspaper, using press-on lettering and pasted-on typewritten columns (Ye Olden Dayes, remember!), artfully aged in the oven after being sprayed with lemon-water so it browned nicely, describing the attack on Fort Sumter; a paper decorated with a cartoon of Genghis Khan sitting behind an executive's desk, claiming that his conquering success was because he was the Henry Ford of decision-making. As I said, in my first dilletant year in college, I avoided mathematics entirely by taking a programming class (Fortran WatIV). None of it made sense to me. It was all drudgery. Then, at the age of 32, I returned to college (again), with A Plan. If I could successfully pass trigonometry and a semester of calculus, I would get a degree in computer science. If not, I would go into international relations or graphic design. I lucked out. I got a professor who was in love with math. Not only that, but she could explain it. Suddenly, all that stuff that was drudgery and confusion became clear and beautiful. Yes. Beautiful. Intriguing. Enthralling. Those years of drudgery and practice and foundations paid off, because the scut-work was easy. As a result of Carla's classes, I ended up getting a minor in mathematics, after all those years of hatred. I soaked in Numeric Analysis. I reveled in Graph Theory (very hard, by the way, but extremely pretty). I slogged through Matrix Algebra (eh). I stayed up until all hours of the night, scribbling proofs and equations in my notebooks. And if I hit a particularly thorny problem, my dreams took over, and I would wake up in the morning with The Answer. Because of all that, I got comfy with my math professors and the scientific theories behind computer science, enough so that I applied for that internship at Los Alamos, met my husband, and adopted OmegaDotter. Pretty heavy stuff... Buuut...it's the foundations I'd still like to get to. Part III coming up soon.
posted by Kate @ 3/24/2006 10:38:00 PM  
2 Comments:
  • At 10/31/2006 07:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just Some Facts About

    Alan Turing Alan Mathison Turing, OBE (June 23, 1912 � June 7, 1954), was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. - - With the Turing test, Turing made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. He provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, formulating the now widely accepted "Turing" version of the Church�Turing thesis, namely that any practical computing model has either the equivalent or a subset of the capabilities of a Turing machine

     
  • At 12/11/2006 09:46:00 PM, Blogger Darth F said…

    So what do you guys all think is better blogs or custom built web sites? Doesn't it seem like all blogs are narrow down the center of the screen like a newspaper column? Does anyone besides me miss full page, full sized websites that don't feel all boxed in? I would like to take a poll and see what everyone thinks about this. I think it is possible to make a full screen blog that doesn't look bloated or stretched; check out my nolan motorcycle helmet blog and see what you think. Is it too horrible and should I scrap it for an HTML site? Or does anyone know a better way to get the full sized look and feel from a blog in a better way? Am I the only one bothered by the narrow column looking blog sites popping up all over the web?

     
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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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