gobs, clots and tidal waves

Posted on March 28, 2012

My 2D animation teacher sent me this link about sine waves to serve as inspiration for my project about percents. 28 minutes long, it is; from a VCR tape from 1992. He included beautiful in his description and … it is. After I saw it, one of my students said I must have had a good spring break because I seemed to be glowing and happy, I kid you not π

It also brought me pretty close to 6:00 and I had to get outtathere for the bike club pizza partie… and my dashed reply to him was “gobs, clots and tidal waves of inspiration.”
Why *those* words? I mean, besides the insane desire to startle.
Gobs would just be the generic Big Quantity word that the editor tosses out.
Clots? Watching it… it’s been a loooong time since I’ve thought about sines and sine waves. They show up in 095/098 just as examples of “real” intervals of things but I’ve always just done the algebra and realized I didn’t remember what it was talking about. Yes, I remember them being mildly fascinating when I learned about ’em back in Physics 108, but since that was an intro class with a “biomedical” emphasis it got short shrift.
The video was crystal clear… but sometimes it felt like the ideas were flowing over rough waters… or like there was a clot in the stream… or as if the idea were, instead of being an anchor to hang other things on, something waiting to break free and flow. I need to remember what that feels like — that flickering light of almost comprehension — because part of learning to learn math (or love or anything?) is learning that that’s easily confused wiht frustration… it’s not cognitive dissonance, because it’s not disrupting anything but itself in its refusal to come together all the way… but that instead of just trying to get to the socially prescribed answer and get it over with, it’s worth moving the stuff around in my brain (or trying to) and, oh, just repeating the parts that make sense and hope that jumpin up and down on them shakes loose the other parts.
And tidal waves? THat is what it feels like when the guy has those precisely, beautifully elegant Just Lines and Circles and the Essence of the Idea and I *can’t* (yet ;)) break it into its pieces parts so that I could DO THAT for percents. It’s just this big fat wave. Or maybe I just need to wallow in its wholeness and treat it like singing along with Anne Hills and letting the natural mimicry of the brain work its magic.
Except that it’s almost 9:00 p.m. and I really need to be packed TONIGHT for the conference because tomorrow’s a LONG day.
(Oh, and I am tempted to email Vi Hart and say “you’re teaming up with Sal Khan ?!?!? WHen there’s *this* already out there???” That’s the other thread in my mind –Take *this* and make it a little interactive… there will be students having cognitive geekasms right there on the school bus and all glowing and happy…)
… and be it duly noted that packing for thre enights in a motel is not as complicated as GITAP π

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Posted in: math, numeracy