Math is Hard

rational-expressionI started doing some math every day at the beginning of this year. I wanted to be working alongside the boys, and I thought it would help me understand their reality better if I was doing the same sort of work that they are. Plus, I’ll be their primary mathematics instructor as they progress, and it will be helpful if I go through a refresher on algebra and the like myself. Not to mention that my own math education stalled out after a basic trigonometry course in high school, and I thought it might be fun to pick up where I left off and see how far I could go!

I have been zipping right along, doing as many as four or five lessons per day. I was getting caught up to the point where I left off all those many years ago, refreshing my memory along the way. I had forgotten all the formulas for computing volume and surface area and the like, as well as concepts like the exponent “power rule”, etc. But picking that sort of thing back up has been pretty easy.

However, I finally hit a significant speed bump in the form of simplifying, adding, and multiplying rational expressions. For those who, like me, have largely forgotten 9th-grade mathematics, a rational expression, and the process of simplifying it, is pictured above.

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Unity and Disagreement

disagreementI came across this today, on one of those automated Facebook “memory” posts. These comments were made one year ago. Until I re-visited this post today, I had not seen the follow-up comments to my own.

I’m the kind of person who is driven internally to figure out the “right” way to do things. I’m also conflict-averse and¬†try to keep the peace as much as I can, rightly or otherwise. So I have a “punched in the gut” reaction any time I receive strong feedback that runs contrary to something I’ve posited. (More on my journey in learning about what “church” means here.) When that happens, my challenge is to decide whether the feedback is helpful and constructive, and, if so, how I will modify my understanding in light of it.

With issues that fall under the heading of “Bible teaching”, it can be really hard to figure out what is right. On nearly every issue imaginable, there is a lot of different contradicting interpretation¬†over the last two thousand years, much of it from “orthodox” sources (the very definition of which is also subject to considerable debate).

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Rolling with Life’s Interruptions (aka Life)

Life Happens!It has been far too long since I have posted an update here. I can assure you the time has not been wasted!

  • In the third week of April, we helped move my Dad to his new home in Florida. We enjoyed having my Mom stay with us here at our place while she was in town helping out with the move. They did the big job of getting everything boxed up at the house. Then a small crew of us loaded up a 26-foot moving van, and the good ship Herron sailed off on a mostly southerly heading.
  • During the last week of April I conducted my first annual whole house deep cleaning. I got behind the refrigerator and the stove, scrubbed walls (or decided to repaint), dove into every crack and crevice and corner, and did all those other unpleasant cleaning tasks that must be done (thankfully) at least once a year. The boys loved having the week mostly off from school.

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