Thursday, August 23, 2018

Naive Set Theory

Naive Set Theory. That's what Max's recent lesson was about... "set theory," but simple so they call it "naive." He's enrolled in Mathematical Reasoning, for summer, and finally he has a class he describes as challenging, rigorous, which prompted Maria to ask, "But fun, right?" And Max brightened, "Yes. Fun." He brings the fun home, sharing his favorite lessons, and concepts. Our first lesson was Saturday morning, after his first week in class. Last night he came home with Geoff, after 9pm, eager to share something new. Step by step, patiently and with enthusiasm he took Maria through the symbols, abstractions, and reasoning of set theory, until at last they finished with a truth table. I am enjoying these new expressions, like proving through contradiction, and naive set theory.

Yesterday there was a parent orientation at Maria's school, and I walked into the room in time to hear an administrator ask the parents something to the effect of... Is everyone excited to get their kids out of the house and back to school?

No, I said aloud.

I get that it's meant to be "humorous," and maybe it's actually appealing to some families. But it makes me sad, and I cannot relate to the cultural tone and attitudes about children, about our own children, that we must be eager to "get away from them," that they "lie," that they are "untrustworthy," "have poor taste," are "annoying." And the expectation always seems to be that if you're keeping it real, not boasting, then you should nod in agreement, share your own kids these days flavored anecdote. Maria gets a variety of this culture fail, too, whenever people tease her about having brothers, suggesting they are probably "mean" or "bullying" or that she must be "tormented" by them. When she was younger, and these comments were directed at her, she looked confused, and would ask, "What do they mean? Why do people say 'brothers aren't nice?'" Now, she's accustomed to the small talk, and declares "My brothers are great. I love them," with a look and tone that dares anyone to say otherwise.

My calendar is already marked with every half-day, school holiday, and long weekend, because I am excited for the time we will have together, as a family, when I can hear their ideas, cook and craft with them, travel, explore, and read aloud with them. It's not to say that I love every kind of music they enjoy, or that I relish finding abandoned socks in the living room... but I have poor taste and bad habits, too, so? I don't see any good in constantly expressing this "joke" that children are doing everything wrong, that we need to get away from them. I don't feel it, and I don't want to perpetuate the norm, because it is false, and damaging.

Now I'm all fired up. And smiling about my effusive views. Don't get me started on those horrible videos from one generation describing all the failings, and shortcomings of an upcoming generation! Seriously! Sometimes a little criticism comes in handy, but all of the hyper-critical, negative labeling, and blaming is a destructive mess!

Now, I am really fired up.

My hygienist had news for me, "You are grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw." And we had a whole discussion about how the state of the world has got a lot of us grinding our teeth. So, I'm supposed to consider taking some magnesium, and maybe I should cut back on news consumption. Of course, when the news is good, that has got to be good for my clenched jaw, and all the rest of my bones, I am sure. Come to think of it, my jaw might feel better if I just went ahead and opened up about what I think and feel, getting fired up and effusive, and saying aloud, "No, I am not excited about my children leaving the house! I am excited about them loving school, and sharing their enthusiasm. I am excited about buying fresh notebooks and more pencils, and supporting the robotics team, and weekends and holidays. Also, I am keeping them home when they are sick, or if we find something better to do."

In other news...

Maria and I found those filter things that put masks and hats and glasses on your picture. We are so late to the party, I'm not sure there is a party! But we had the best time with these, and William played with us, too. And, for the record... I am really darn adorable with a bunny nose, sparkle eyes, and fluff ears. I had no idea.

My latest shawl is done. I wanted it to have more than one or two colors, and I tried to add different stitches. It started to curl... which I guess is because of the varying stitches. But, I like it. And I'm already making a blanket now. Also, someone at the dentist's office saw me crocheting, and asked where I learned (that's a whole story)... she says I stitch "over" and that's not typical of English or American crocheting style. It was a funny exchange. I wonder what would happen if I try wrapping the yarn under, instead of over...

Our plum tree gave us more plums than last year. We hope this tasty trend continues. And everyone in our local area should get ready to come over for passionfruit, soon. And our avocado pits our sprouting. Countdown to guacamole starts now! (ahem)

I finally dared myself to actually use the lotion bar I ordered from Posie. I have this terrible habit of saving special things for the "right" time, and that is rarely a good thing. So, at bedtime, I indulge, and massage my hands with this beautiful lotion bar. It smells, and feels, as pretty as it looks.

If she didn't have a backpack, already, this Black Panther backpack is Maria's ideal backpack. (For some sad reason her mom is trying to make a point about economizing and being practical... blah, blah, blah.)

Wait... do I have a backpack? A back to school backpack? My class starts the first week of September. Everyone is excited to get me out of the house and back to school! lol


Cynthia said...

I love reading your posts. Your children will always be inquisitive, loving beings because you are. Oh,and the colors in the shawl are devine!!

Adaliza said...

I used to mark up all the holidays too and absolutely loved having all the children at home together. Now they're all grown up, they spend time together here and get on really well - it gives me hope for the future. School sort of got in the way of precious family time but it saw them through and they're confident, independent young people able to make their way in the world. Enjoy the rest of the time before School's Back!