Monday, September 15, 2008

Easy As 1-2-3

I was walking one of my students back from his locker this afternoon (they really can't go alone...bad things happen when they are left to their own devices) and we were discussing his math homework.  He asked me if he could do it in my class during the first block since he really can't get much done at home.  I agreed, but with some conditions.

I told him that he needed to work with The Steadfast Teaching Assistant who attends this class with him.  I explained that she, as someone who is in the mathematical atmosphere daily, would be better able to assist him with in this endeavor.  I said that he would need to work with her respectfully and be grateful for her help.  

I also told him that, should this plan fail, he was in trouble.  I was probably not going to be of much use with his math homework.  He tried to tell me that it was easy and that I could most certainly help him.  I appreciated the vote of confidence.  

But he is far enough off base that he can't even be considered in the ballpark at this point.

It seems that I have no math skills whatsoever.  I thought I did.  I count things every now and again.  I once looked at the apple supply in the refrigerator and figured out how many I'd need to buy if I wanted enough for the week's lunches.  I seem to recall having to measure for new mini blinds once and they almost fit.  I honest to goodness thought that I had a few number skills to my credit.

I do not.  

The simple act of decreasing for the crown of this hat I'm working on has bested me.  The first round went quite well.  I was dead on.  Then I guess I maybe over-thought the directions a bit.  I couldn't believe that the pattern as written was correct nor that the math involved would result in the appropriate hat dimensions.  It surely would have.  I simply needed to trust the pattern.  

I did not.

I had to tink back and regroup.  That should have worked.  I should have ended up back where I started and had the correct number of stitches.

I did not.

I probably should have thought better of the ripping it all out to get back to where I was before the decreasing went awry.  I should have realized that this is not really faster as you will always drop stitches if you rip.  I should have gone back to tinking stitch by stitch like I knew deep down was the right thing to do.

I did not.

Everything is back on the needles and I think that it will all work out.  But it is really quite disheartening to realize that I have little in the way of remaining knitting skills after having not completed anything in a while.  And it is downright depressing to learn that I cannot count.

That poor kid who is planning on doing his math homework in my class tomorrow had better kiss up to The Steadfast Teaching Assistant if he knows what's good for him.  My students are still fiddling around with the rules a bit and learning how the adults will react.  Here's hoping that he doesn't try anything too risky tomorrow morning.  If he thinks I'm going to rescue him, he will be a very sad math student.

And I won't be able to hold up my head with anything remotely resembling dignity until at least the third semester.

Hey, I wants to help!  I counts gooood!  Listen:  One Big Bowls Of Yummy Food, Two Big Bowls Of Yummy Food, Three Big Bowls Of Yummy Food...  I can counts all the way up to Fifty Hundred!!!



trek said...

Fifty hundred? That's like twelvity-five!

Good luck, Sad Math Student.

Sorry about the hat shaping, Sheepie.

Kath said...

I'm betting his sister BFK can count Greenies!

My math skills have always been limited to money (priorities, you know) and in my life that has meant only small numbers & very simple maths are needed.

Knitting Linguist said...

Thanks for the laugh (I know it's at your expense -- I appreciate it). It's always good to know that other people have these small issues with knitting and numbers as well. Dare I say that I'm looking forward to seeing the hat?

knitseashore said...

Knitting would be perfect if it weren't for the math. I'm sorry your hat is giving you so much grief. But you have that incredibly cute face there and eleventy billion photos of him are still not enough to capture our insatiable need for the cuteness. ONE photo of the cute AGK. TWO photos of the cute AGK...

Karen said...

Math is one of those subjects where it all depends on how important the final result will be. Balancing the checkbook is more important than those two trains we always hear about in word problems. Sadly hat math is kind of important too. I hope yours works out for the best.

Anne said...

OMG - I so feel your pain. Math.....bad.

Anonymous said...

I heard AGK counting in the voice of The Count from Sesame Street. Now my cube neighbors are SURE I am nuts.

Mia said...

Well, there's always crochet. Less counting and a whole lot easier to tink :)

Yarnhog said...

Poor kid.

When my stepson was in high school, he asked if I could help him with his physics homework. I took a look at it, looked him dead in the eye, and answered, "Nope." I saw the last of his little-boy hero worship die an ignominious death in that moment.

April said...

I am SO stealing that cat! Oh yes I am. I'm getting in my car RIGHT THIS MOMENT, despite having a suspended license, and driving to MAINE. Here I come, AGK!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could get AGK hired to be your math teaching assistant!