Monday, March 21, 2022

"... I got lost on the river, but I got found."


Last night I dreamed that at the end of a long journey, I found myself looking into a vast aquarium at a large blue fish who looked out at me with a steady gaze.  I began to cry.  I woke up weeping.


Yesterday YouTube churned up a short video devoted to helping students understand what calculus is.  The goal was not to teach calculus but to explain why one would want to learn calculus.  For some reason, I decided to watch it, and was delighted to understand what calculus is.

I remember going back to college when I was in my late 20s and vowing to attempt to learn math from the point at which I had not been able to understand it.  I was good at math until 7th grade when New Math was introduced.  My father who was good at math did not understand New Math and was unable to help me understand it.  I remember my 7th grade teacher taking me aside and saying that she was puzzled by my poor math grades because I was clearly intelligent, having scored in the 99th percentile on the verbal portion of my aptitude tests that she had looked at.  From then on,  I continued to do well in English classes and struggle in math classes, despite the fact that New Math didn't last long in my school district.

In my return to the study of math, rather than learning math in a traditional classroom, I chose to learn in what was called a math lab where I could work independently, at my own pace, and ask for help when needed.  Much to my surprise, math was easy and fun, and I quickly finished the courses up to the point of calculus and was considering taking calculus.  Baffling to me to this day, my former husband who had scored 800 on the math portion of the SAT test, scoffed at my enthusiasm saying, "Why would you want to do that?"  Even more baffling is that I lost my excitement and momentum when I heard those words. 


When I saw the blue fish in my dream, I remembered the YouTube video and instinctively used a calculus formula which proved, without a doubt, that the blue fish and I had exactly the same volume despite our different physical appearance.


Last night I was playing around with my autoharp, specifically A minor and D minor.  Suddenly I was playing the first few chords of something that I couldn't identify, having no idea what the lyrics were.  A few minutes ago, I went over to my autoharp and played  A minor and D minor again and again until I was able to identify that it was reminding me of Bob Dylan's song "Lost on the River." 

The song goes with the dream.


Take what you have gathered from coincidence.  Thanks so much, Bob, wherever you are.



The Weaver of Grass said...

I have found that doing the Times Mind Games each morning - particularly Maths ones that I suddenly understand maths much better. English was always my subject but I sometimes wonder how well maths is taught in schools. (I am a retired English/language teacher)

Colette said...

You have such a tender heart. It often makes your posts irresistible.