New Math

11178-algebra

I didn’t like math or science in school. You have X and Y, but if you do everything right, Z tends to happen. I guess I didn’t think like that. Still don’t. But at least there is a right and a wrong answer. Most things aren’t that cut and dry.

Take politics. Just because I’m a registered Republican doesn’t mean I have to like everything they do. Or even the president (no comment) for that matter.

I’m so sick of watching the news. More and more it’s like you vs. me, with neither side willing to consider the other.

 
Like I said, most things aren’t black and white. We should leave that to scientists and mathematicians.

Oops!

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It wasn’t quite THIS bad…

Everything about space has always fascinated me. Before a life event beyond my control prevented it, my dream was to be an astronaut. Not the eight-year-old “when I grow up…”dream, but I really was going to be an astronaut. I had written (now you know how long ago it was) NASA for an application to see what I needed in college, and was on a first-name basis with the woman in the astronaut selection office. I really was going to be an astronaut.

In retrospect, to be an astronaut you must like math and science. I liked neither. Oh, well, I was going to be an astronaut.

Of course, because everything about space was so interesting, of course my seventh-grade science project just had to be space related. To this day, I have no idea how I thought of my project, but it just popped into my head: “Does the Density of a Planet’s Atmosphere Affect the Impact a Meteor Would Have?” I simply threw rocks on a sand-covered paper plate that had either a Kleenex, paper towel, or washcloth on it to mimic different atmospheric conditions. My seventh-grade mind didn’t think of some things, like not all planets are solid, how was I sure I was throwing the rocks each time, etc.

I guess the judges at my school didn’t think of that, because I won first place. But besides being a nerd, I must to admit to being a bit of a klutz. Walking up to turn in my project at the district competition, the unthinkable happened: I dropped the plate.   My parents and I fiendishly recreated craters before the projects were due (picture us in the parking lot, using our knuckles to recreate the “meteor” indentations in the different atmospheres), and I thought we did a pretty impressive job faking the wonder of science.

I didn’t go beyond the district competition. I still wonder: what if I had been more graceful back then…?