I haven’t written for quite a while due to various family obligations, but was very happy when Mental Floss asked me to write about math anxiety. The last time I wrote for them was about the incredible Rosalind Franklin (and for some reason didn’t promote that).
It was half past ten already, he still had a mile to go, and the sheep were really beginning to be a problem.
One large ewe was nuzzling his elbow, while what he presumed was her lamb rubbed its fuzzy head against his knee. And the rest of the flock – about three dozen, most white except for one or two black – were edging ever nearer, eager to get to know him as well. A large ram was eyeing him beadily, but had yet to approach.
Charles backed against the closed stile, cursing himself and the woolly creatures at the same time. So much for saving time by taking a shortcut through the pasture.
It had seemed such a good idea, particularly since the clouds were getting thicker and darker, and thunder was rumbling in the distance. But there he was, unable to get into the lane behind him because the maddening creatures were blocking the stile. Even if he was able to shoo enough out of the way, there was a chance some would wander out into the lane with him, and he had neither the strength nor the inclination to round them up and push them back into the pasture.
A cheesy romance with twisted underpinnings — In serial form.
It was a dark and stormy morning.
The rain started just as Charles bid the Rev. Arthur Chasuble, his longtime mentor and friend, goodbye at the Merton College gates.
“May God be with you, Charles.”
The aged don took Charles’ hand, and shook it with a surprising strength, considering his frail build.
“And keep out of trouble this time.”
I have a story in The Atlantic today on the apparently never-ending debate over whether kids should learn more than arithmetic. If you had told me 10 years ago I would be championing algebra, even calculus, I would have laughed. But here I am. I also eat cauliflower fairly regularly (when I find the fractal ones), so I have become one of THOSE PEOPLE.
Team USA did very well this year at the European Girls Math Olympiad, and I had the honor of interviewing several team members and the coaches for an Atlantic story. Here’s hoping contests like EGMO keep spreading and growing, and that girls continue embracing math.
I have another essay in the Washington Post today, this one on the challenges of finding elder home care. The apocalypse may be upon us by the time I turn 90, so I really don’t know how I can plan for this, but I will try!
Also, here is my last story on word problems for Noodle, which sadly decided to stop running editorial content this month. Oh well, it was a fun run. Thanks, Noodle!