avril 13, 2006
Oh. My. God.

I figured out non-base-10 number systems! OK, I didn't, like, invent non-base-10 number systems. But ever since I was a very little girl--back when I was struggling with long division but somehow got placed in this advanced math class where they taught about prisms and parallel lines (all mildly comprehensible) and base-5 number systems (not comprehensible in any way), I have been puzzled and confused and have begun to sweat a little bit anytime anyone mentioned the concept to me. When I was a child bride in Georgia my husband, Irwin, used to try to explain it to me over breakfast, writing in ketchup on my huevos rancheros. He would get really intent on making me understand it--his face would get all grave & his brow would furrow, and he would push his spectacles up high on his nose like he really meant business, and I would sit there and watch my eggs getting cold underneath numbers I could not grasp, and I think those were the times when I felt the most desperate and trapped in that illegal, unethical marriage.

But I was reading this article about teaching place value to second-graders, and I just thought I would google base-5, and I saw some example that was totally incomprehensible (AGAIN) and then! then, I saw it written out: 549= 5x10^2 + 4x10^1 + 9x10^0. And I thought, "OF COURSE!" And now I can do it with anything.

At any rate, it is an epoch in my life. And a chapter of my life is closed. And so on. Triumph. I think I will become a computer programmer.

Posted by anonymousblonde at avril 13, 2006 04:43 PM