Amalia greeted me on the schoolyard at pick up yesterday reciting, chanting 40 digits of Pi. At her school, they celebrated Pi Day (3.14) in a big way with math challenges every day last week and a party with pies and other round food on Monday. Amalia’s enthusiasm for Pi edged over into the Ides of March and shows no sign of abating.
I wonder what she really knows about the application of Pi in math or the history. There’s a lot of crazy, interesting stuff out there on the web relating to Pi. One fact–The Guinness Book of World Records documents the record for remembered digits of Pi at 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China. [Source: Wikipedia] Pi is considered an irrational number and a transcendental number. I can’t explain what this means without studying really hard or plagiarizing. I simply appreciate the use of language. A transcendental number. That’s a good one.
I love that Pi has captured Amalia’s imagination. I don’t really care if she understands Pi’s usefulness in math. She get to that soon enough. And as she wades through the complications of geometry in high school, hopefully she’ll remember hopping around, reciting 40 digits of Pi and feel the enthusiasm return. [Thank you to Ms Chambers at New West Charter for sharing her love of Pi Day.]
The feral cat story is not such an uplifting little anecdote. Izzy loves animals and is the girl who brings home baby birds that have fallen from the nest and wants to save every stray she sees. Last night when we got home, Izzy saw a stray cat walking in circles in the street in front of our house. She conferred with a neighbor and decided it needed rescue. From what they could tell, the cat was at least partially blind and possibly brain damaged. It was horribly skinny and couldn’t seem to walk in a straight line. They shooed it out of the street. Izzy came running in for the cat carrier and some food while our neighbor went off to find gloves.
Izzy and I managed to get the poor cat into the carrier. It had enough wherewithal to hiss and try to bite me when I picked it up. Off to the vet. The nighttime emergency vet on Sepulveda. Izzy and I both knew the outcome for this cat wasn’t going to be good, but we still hoped. The verdict was probable neurological damage due to a brain tumor or abscess. His eyes, ears and mouth were affected. He was dehydrated and couldn’t eat. So we had the cat put down, struggling with that decision. The vet was really kind and brought us tissues as we sat weeping over a little grey cat we’d only known for a couple of hours. I think Izzy and I are similar in wanting to save helpless things. But Izzy’s compassion and patience for animals continues to deepen as she matures.
Yesterday, a friend with a tiny baby asked me what my favorite age has been with my girls. I can’t choose. It’s impossible when there are days with one child dancing across the floor chanting mathematical formulas while the other girl sits with a box of tissues pondering the kindness of euthanasia. Things were a lot less complicated when they were babies, but the girls also didn’t demonstrate the kind of individual power and passion they both have now.
On a lighter note-Here’s a little video clip of Amalia’s recitation:
By the way, I’m not working full time anymore and hoping to get to this blog more. Anything you want to talk about?