Working it out

I have been getting back into exercising the past few weeks, thanks to my original exercise buddy (who has now moved to Roanoke, VA).  Originally, we were “attending class” at the same time, she at 5:30pm and I at 4:30pm (though, in my living room or somewhere else not actually at the gym) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  However, I have been able to stick with that, whether she changes her days or not – I have merely needed the pretense – is that the right word? – of our working out at the same time to get myself to follow the schedule and make it happen for myself…  Even if she doesn’t work out then, I am totally okay with it, and I still make myself do the workout, anyway.

Since I’ve been doing so well with that in particular, I’ve been considering how the weekends are really rough for me – going two days without a workout is too much when I’m only working out three days a week in the first place.  It was already hard enough when I was going to the gym four weekdays out of five, to take two days off on the weekend.  But Saturday mornings are hard for me, and the class is always at 9am or 10am, which means I’d have to be getting out of bed a long while before then…, which just doesn’t often happen, since the weekend is typically the only time I get to stay up late and sleep in in the morning.

That being said, I’m strongly considering doing M-W-F-Sun one week, and T-Th-Sat the following week, and just going back and forth each week.  Essentially, it is just working out every other day period.  But it helps mentally to have it framed the first way each week.

Yeah… so, that’s where I am with things on the workout schedule right now.  I’m still not at ease with it all enough to return to my previous schedule (MTWFSat), but doing every other day would be an appreciated step forward… much appreciated.  Plus, if I want to get to that 200 workouts in my second year at the gym, I need to up my game, and fast.  Slowing things down so much during this stay-at-home stuff has really messed with my numbers so far.  Fortunately, though, I still have another seven and a half months to sort it out… I think I’ve done around 30…??? That’s really just a wild guess here…So, that leaves an approximate 170 workouts, to be managed in around 32 weeks, making it five workouts a week I’d have to do going forward from today.  I’m definitely not there yet.  However, I can get there again in, hopefully, another few weeks.  I did two-a-days every so often in the past, so I can definitely start dong those again, too, to help manage the numbers better.  Anyway, the point it that I can do this, and I am moving forward towards it once again.  🙂

I bid you a good night, because I am extremely sleepy right now, and I want to go to sleep.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Pinky

…And The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain…

Loved those guys when I was little.

Tonight, I was talking with my brother (the neuroscience one) about how language and math show up in the brain, specifically grammar and foreign language for the language stuff, and then algebra for the math stuff.

It turns out that, the algebra shows up with lights all over the brain, whenever we do it.

Language understanding and production are from specific, individual areas that interact with one another.

And the functional parts of language (think syntax) actually work more like the algebra does in the brain, with lights all over the place.

And so, it makes perfect sense that languages have seemed to me to be the same thing as algebra – I have always referred to them as math, and in various ways, and that is exactly how I see them in my head.

We even talked about how, algebraically, I personally see sentence structure across the languages.

Basically, we turned my nerdy question into an even nerdier conversation, and it was awesome.

Now, I know that I definitely want to see a brain lighting pattern test of my brain, especially around math and languages and grammar!

Post-a-day 2020

Writing, math in life…

I’ve been on the phone with my college flatmate tonight, talking about writing.  Apparently, I actually do have some fun and crazy ideas that would be really interesting for people to read – she didn’t even understand how I got to the sorts of ideas that regularly come to mind, simply as the normal order of thinking in my head.  So, I guess that’s not so normal as I’d thought it to be, having such ideas so casually and regularly.

The thing is, I haven’t set up sitting down to do it.  Not yet, anyway, and not for long enough.  I’ve noticed that writing at night is not the way to go for me.  For other things, sure – I can do loads of physical movement at night.  For writing, however, I’m next to hopeless, it feels.  I don’t feel much like writing anything in the first place at night, and so I struggle to find something to write, and then I make loads of errors in what I do finally write.  It just isn’t a good combination.

Speaking of combinations, I was talking with students in my geometry class today about how math can be useful in life in cool ways.  One example was from a show my stepdad watches about the TV show “The Walking Dead”.  It’s sort of a behind-the-scenes sort of show, and this particular bit that I saw was talking about everything they had to do in order to set up a car crash.  It was really cool, seeing everything broken down, all of the things they had to organize to make it work.  The best part, perhaps, was seeing how it was pure geometry and physics that made the crash work flawlessly.

The other example was in a little photo shoot I was witnessing (and had to abandon for distress), in which the photographer said that they were supposed to be sitting in a Christmas tree formation.  But she didn’t do anything to make this happen.  She didn’t even seem to know what needed to be done for this shape to happen.  (The people in charge definitely seemed to be lacking in general crowd control and effective instructions arenas, too.)  It occurred to me that she never considered just getting the number of people – I’d have done it ahead of time, but on the sport would have worked just finely, too – expected in the photo, and dividing them up into the necessary number of people per row, based on the exact shape desired and the number of rows available.  I was about to begin the calculations as I watched, but then realized that no one was going to listen to me anyway, so it was better if I just left the stressful situation, since that was the only thing I actually could do in the situation.  So, I left.  But it proved to be a good example to the kids in class at how math is present in life in ways that people don’t even consider.  Had the photographer thought about math, – and it is likely that she didn’t, because she wasn’t very confident in or in love with math while in school – the whole photo shoot could have gone loads better than it did.  And they could have had the Christmas tree, and even decorated with “lights” or an outline, using the different shirt and jacket colors present and available.  But she didn’t, so none of that happened.

 

Post-a-day 2017

Becoming Jack Black, teacherly

Yesterday, in class, as I walked around the room with a bass guitar strapped across me, and casually strummed while discussing students’s work on the boards with them, I realized that I was, indeed, being my own version of Jack Black from “School of Rock”.   Sure, I was actually teaching the subject that the school hired me to teach, but we regularly have our moments of magical inspiration to discuss something that educates the students in an entirely different, but effective, way.

I commented about my discovery to a few students, and they grew excited about it.  I jokingly began to sing about how “math is cool”, and the students declares that I should be Jack Black from “School of Rock”.  I laughed, and we all shared a minute of delight at the idea, until I turned them back to their work on the boards.

The incident, though brief and seemingly inconsequential, marked something big for me.  I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was big. 

When I first started teaching, I remember thinking, and then publicly commenting on Facebook, that one of my greatest fears in being a teacher, was being Jack Black in “School of Rock”.  When I am lonely, I have tended to watch a film at night, and most nights.  I was apparently in a school-related films phase, and had watched “School of Rock” shortly after watching “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.  Where I had marveled at Richard Dreyfus’s character, I found utter panic and increasing dislike for Jack Black’s – one was an ideal teacher, and the other was the epitome of what not to do.  I had enjoyed both films as a student, but my perspective of “teacher” had me see too many ways for Jack Black’s character to end up fired and/or imprisoned and/or forbidden from working in education ever again.

A dear friend had commented on that status in an unexpected way.  Something to the effect of, ‘Are you sure you don’t mean ‘One of my greatest goals…’?’  She was not an uninformed individual, regarding education, and her comment had me truly take pause.  Perhaps there was something to it, but I could hardly even consider the idea, due to how terrible so many of his actions were as a teacher.

This time…yesterday, things were different for me.  When I labeled myself as Jack Black’s character, – I am currently a long-term substitute teacher, teaching math at a private school – I was actually delighted at the idea, and then surprised at my own response.  What was once a dreadful idea that I could not even consider, had suddenly become an almost-ideal.  I respected myself for such an idea, for my being my own version of him, that terrible teacher.

Clearly, something big has altered within me, for such an alteration to have occurred.  But what?

I shall dream of it tonight…

P.S. It was a student’s bass, and I don’t even know why he had it at school…, I think.

Post-a-day 2017