Thursday, March 19, 2009


It was quite a revelation early this morning when, listening to my family discuss the remaining math homework problem, I realized that I couldn't understand a word of what they were saying.  Yes I was awake, was sipping strong coffee, and everything else seemed to make sense. Quite honestly they could have been conversing in Serbo-Croat for all I was able to grasp the subject.

Numerically useless parent that I am, my thoughts drifted back to my own middle school days, and the times when my eyes and brain would glaze over when the square on the hypothenuse was mentioned.  I would sit in mathematics class willing the minutes to pass quickly, and anticipate  the next classics lesson. Then I would be able to march with Julius Caesar into Gaul, listen to the Oracle at Delphi, read Cicero in translation and simply wonder at the glories of ancient Greece and Rome.  Clearly I was born in the wrong era, as my mind still does the same today.  As George Gissing wrote:

Every man has his intellectual desire; mine is to escape life as I know it and dream myself into that old world which was the imaginative delight of my boyhood. (By the Ionian Sea. 1901.)

In other words - never grow up!  The only problem is:  They had math back then also!

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