## Thursday, May 12, 2011

### In the Swim

A Day At School

I substituted yesterday.

Math.

I realized I haven't done sines and cosines since 1969 or so and geometry?  Well, I have used some geometric principles now and then, but this was way beyond the basics.

Now, wait a minute...geometry! I taught some in my English classes! When we were studying the King Arthur legend, one of the readings mentioned that the Round Table seated 150 knights.  As many of you know, legends and myths often exaggerate reality, so the trick here was to figure out just how big this table would be. Figuring the distance around--the circumference--is not the issue here. We figured a knight might need about two feet of space to sit--a big guy might need more, but let's be conservative. So that means the table for 150 knights would have to be 300 feet around. That doesn't tell us much about the size of the table as it's kind of hard to envision. So, how wide is the table? Would it fit in the classroom?

Geometry needed.  The formula for circumference is pi (3.14) X the diameter. Aha! We need to figure the diameter--the distance across the widest part of the table.  So, the circumference (300) divided by pi (3.14) will give us the answer. (A little algebra thrown in for good measure.)

To save you the trouble, the table would be at least 95 feet across.  I'm not even sure such a table would fit in our school cafeteria--at least not with any extra room to move around it.

This was one of those clever "cross curricula" moments in class where English and Math united and my students were actually able to see a practical application for some  of that "stuff" they'd learned in class. It was also one of my favorite lessons because even the best math students had to think a little to figure it all out, and since most of them, as seniors had not had geometry since the tenth grade--two years before--they often had to search their brains for the right formulas.

Nothing like that happened yesterday, but it did make me think about all the things I once learned in school that I have forgotten since. At the time, my quest for grades helped inspire me to learn, but so much of that learning has since vanished because I have had no practical application of it in my life.

Which somehow leads me to the swimming pool after school, where I managed 10 leisurely laps with some breaks in between.  Every time I start swimming again after a layoff, I am overcome by just how good it feels.

But, even the swim did not quite fix my back. It had be bothering me all day.  I finally lucked out and got a chiropractor's appointment in the evening. This time it wasn't my pelvis, but two lower vertebrae I'd managed to twist out of position.  I'm adjusted now, and feeling better, but not quite fully recovered--AGAIN!! That back muscle of mine is still irritated and complaining.

I really do need to finish some barn chores, but it looks as if I am headed for another "disability" day here at Follywoods.  Fortunately, the Boys are happy, sleek and sassy.

The only negative is that Chance still has mosquito bites. All three horses seem to be hiding out in the stalls when the pesky critters are out looking for blood.  I do have a good spray called, "Mosquito Halt" that helps, but like most horse sprays, it doesn't seem to have much "staying power."  I hate to use it too much, simply because over time it can cause skin reactions.

Perhaps it's time to put on the flysheets and hope for the best. It just seems so early in the year for that.

1. Math was my worst subject and geometry, trig etc. forget about those altogether. The Round Table was an interesting way to get everyone thinking though.

Sorry to hear about your back. Hope you heal quickly and can enjoy this weather. Nice that you got some swim time in too. Haven't had any mosquitoes here yet but the ticks and flies are starting to be annoying.

2. Mosquito Halt is nasty stuff but it's the only thing that works at all for mosquitos and it seems to help with deer flies too.

Sorry the back isn't as good as it could be.

3. I loved them math story! As my readers will soon learn I am gearing up to tutor college biology so I am remembering all that I learned, that I forgot, that I have to relearn. It's more meaningful the second time around.

So soon for mosquitoes. In Maine June is the worst month for them. Here - well it's been raining for two days so soon we will see those flying irritants.

4. that's weird, jean, this has now been posted twice by blogger....

5. Blogger has been weird lately. It did not let post comment, blog or even enter in my own blog? Boh? A virus perhaps! It must be quite a challenge to keep running such a big network O_o

Keep swimming, Jean ^-^