Monday, June 29, 2009

God's Sense of Humor

Ariel got three deliveries today. They were textbooks—economics, public speaking, and linear algebra. When she opened the package containing the last book, I heard squeals of delight. Then she opened the book. “Oh…my…gosh, Mom. Did you hear that?! The spine cracked—I’m the first person to ever use this book!!” Ariel proceeded to hurry to her room with the book cradled reverently in her arms.

After thirty minutes or so, she came to find Calvin and me. “Guess what? I just read the first chapter and did all the homework on matrices…” She paused for effect. “And I got all the problems correct.” Cal and I looked at each other and said, “Great!”

Cal found something to do, so I had to listen to a lecture on Row-Echelon and reduced Row-Echelon forms—does she seriously think I have any idea what she’s talking about? And then there was some new uber-cool vector thingy—this is how I know that God has a sense of humor. I hated vectors with a consuming passion—Ariel loves them almost above parametric equations, so she’s always explaining some new vector analysis protocol. When she came up for air, she moved on to some Gauss principle/constant/formula/elimination/whatever. (Gauss was a late 16th century math nerd/genius. Apparently, he wasn’t the nicest guy to be around, but I was told it was because he was “one of the greatest math minds, EVER.”)

She just told me, “Mom, I moved on to chapter two, and this is so cool.” I think I just heard Calvin go outside to finish trimming the magnolia tree. I’m so jealous.


  1. The stuff about Gauss being "one of the greatest math minds ever" was not in my own words. I was reading you the blurb in the mathbook on Gauss. But, yeah, he did sound both brilliant and obnoxious. You know, according to my elementary linear algebra book, if Gauss had actually written down everything he discovered, the state of mathematics today could be advanced by some 50 years!

    Anyway, I think Elementary Linear Algebra is going to be a fun class. To bad it's only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  2. I don't know about you, but all of this sounds like something Hermione Granger would do. Maybe it's just me.

    Anyway, it's always funny to hear stories about Ariel. "Did you hear that?! The spine cracked!! I'm the first person to ever use this book!!" Heh heh.

  3. As long as Ariel doesn't frustrate us to the point where we crack her spine I think we're fine.