I just finished helping my daughter study for a proofs exam. Why? Because I was too tired to come up with an excuse for why I couldn’t help her study.
My job as study-buddy is to hold up a flashcard and nod as she recites drivel to me. If the drivel is vaguely related to what is scrawled on the card, I say “good.” If the drivel seems unrelated, I say “yeah, maybe.” Then she looks at the card and says, “That’s exactly what I said.” And I say, “Oh, right.” I mean how am I supposed to know that a sideways swirl is actually an “R,” which isn’t really an “r” but is actually a “relation?” (Maybe they’re second cousins once removed, but I didn’t ask.)
However, I did find a couple of interesting things like hUg. Any math that involves hugs can’t be all bad. And actually hUg stands for “h” union with “g” so it really is a kind of hug. Which leads to the integral of e to the x, but I won’t go there.
There are other cool terms we studied and here’s what I think they should mean: supremums (super mums—moms who sacrifice their “down” time to help their daughters study) and infimums (sick mums—moms who stay up too late helping their daughters study).
Then there’s the set theory thing with inverse images. I told her they looked like paramecium. She was mildly offended that I’d “managed to taint” math with science. Hmm. I’ll remember that for next time I want to get out of flashcard duty. “Hey, Ar, the foot of this swirly R looks like a flagellum.”