Friday, June 01, 2007

Too Much Fun For A Friday

Ok, you have to understand something to start. I have been in an absolutely foul mood today. This was brought on by a combination of factors, one of which is that I'm an idiot who has to go to a bridal shower tomorrow and I haven't yet bought a gift. Went to the gift venues of choice for the happy couple only to find out that 4 out of the 5 of them only featured items that you could buy online.

I very much dislike giving a bride a piece of paper that reads: "Thank you for shopping XStore! Your confirmation # is ZV83014710470000. Your merchandise should be shipped on or before the middle of next week if the day doesn't end in Y." Kinda tacky, that. Almost as tacky as the fact that I find myself trying to scrape together a cruddy little gift at the last minute. Sigh. I knew I should have knitted her a bunch of dishcloths but NOOOOOOO.

Ok, so back from the tangent. I'm in a bad mood. Sarah asks for help with her math. Oh, goodie! Just what I wanted to do on a simmering afternoon of snarkiness. Oh well, at least we were in the basement where it's cool. So we start doing the math. Well, she does the math and I tell her, "Yep, that's what I got!" because I'm too lazy to find the Solutions Manual.

Then we come to the part of the show wherein we are supposed to be finding perimeter, area, and volume of goofily shaped... shapes, just to prove how studly we are at this (that would be "not very"). Perimeter is a cinch, we both knew what the formula for the perimeter of a circle is (also, for you math and language purists, yes I know that's the circumference, but they try to confuse the issue by asking for 'perimeter', so there ). The problem was that Sarah refused to acknowledge that the same diameter-radius thingy that she used to find the circumference of the circle was the measure she needed to use, along with the Pythagorean theorem, to find the last measure she needed to find the total perimeter of this stupid figure. The way to illustrate to her that this was the exact same measure was to growl at her while pointing at the book. This worked well and had the added advantage of making us both dissolve into giggles.

Ok, the next problem that she really really needed help with was the volume of a cylinder. Sadly, while Saxon felt it necessary for her to know this measure, it did not provide her with the overt formula for this thing. No, that would be cheating. So we looked through the index, vainly attempting to find the formula for the volume of a cylinder. I thought it was area of the circle times the height (hey, it made sense to me) but I didn't want to inflict this on her if it wasn't right. We searched. We grew frustrated. I finally resorted to looking at the volume of a cone, which they had an overt formula for. Within that formula was hidden the Holy Grail of the cylinder formula. Woohoo! We were on!

(Oh, and in case you have the driving need to find the volume of a cone any time soon, the formula is 1/3 times the volume of the cylinder formed by the circular bottom and the height of said cylinder if it was indeed a cylinder rather than a cone. Oh well, Saxon explained it more succinctly even though they didn't talk about the volume of a cylinder.

So then we needed to remember how to find the area of a circle. Sarah blurted it out quickly: "Pi RSquared", which is the radius of the circle, squared, times 3.14. Y'all know that, but I have to say it because of the next part.

There is an old joke that we tell around here when we get real loopy (no, I promise this tangent is necessary to the story). It goes like this: The backwoods/hillbilly/Aggie/hick/whatever the name for someone not city-born boy goes to college, the first one in his family to do so. When he comes back home for a visit, his daddy asks him what he learned in college so far. The young man thought for a moment, then replied, "Pi r-squared."

His daddy shook his head sadly and said, "Boy, I told you college wouldn't teach ya nothin'. Pie are round...cornbread are square."

Got that? Good.

So I have to look up the area of the circle because that's the kind of careful educator I am, I wanna make sure my girl has it right before she further ingrains an incorrect formula in her brain. Sure enough, that's the correct formula and she tucks right into the problem. While her head is bowed over her paper, I whispered, "Cornbread are square," and did one of those uncontrolled dry snorts you get when you're unsuccessfully trying to hold back a laugh. She immediately burst into loud and sustained laughter, which permitted me to do the same. After doing that for a while, we had to stop so she could finish the problem.

Then I became a prophet.

I said, "One day, Sarah, you will be taking the SAT in a completely silent room and you'll get a question wherein you'll need to find the area of a circle and you'll remember 'Cornbread are square' and you'll snort and laugh so loudly that they'll kick you out." We laughed about that again, after which Sarah asked me what the SAT was and I answered her.

She had looked down at the next problem and I had gone on to muse about why colleges in this area use the ACT rather than the SAT and a quiet voice answered, "Will they let me take the test more than once?" This visibly confused me and she added, "You know, when they kick me out the first time."

Oh my. It's good to have a belly laugh now and then but twice in one half-hour will put me under the ground.


elasticwaistbandlady said...

I turned over complete dominion of all things mathematical to my Papi in our homeschool endeavours. It just saves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that way.

I'm a procrastinator and I kiss the very existence of the gift card that saves me wrapping and time.

Julie in Texas said...


I am so glad you like the package! I am sorry it took awhile to mail it. The sad thing was it was addressed and sitting by the front door the whole time I would remember when we were driving by the post office...I need to pull it and mail Lori's package, then I would remember it was sitting at home.

Love your math story. I wish math was accomplished here with laughter. My dear oldest gets very frustrated with silliness when he is trying to understand something. So math is done in great seriousness with some gnashing of teeth.

Have a blessed day,

Knitting Rose said...

What a wonderful memory with your daughter. That is one that will keep forever.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on the shop blog. ;) It is nice to know people like what I make.