Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Mathematical Insight From A Nine Year Old Alex



Song:  Adiemus

Composer:  Karl Jenkins



When Alex was 8 - 9 years old and in the 4th grade...
he had been learning Algebra I with advanced 7th and 8th graders
(his Elementary School sent him to learn with an advanced Middle School class for math.
It was actually a review for Alex as he was learning Algebra in 3rd grade...at home).

While he was at home during his free time back then...
he liked to write math tutoring papers...
and instructional papers on a variety of subjects...
 including one on "The Lessons of Life" :)
(he still does them during his free time).

Just recently, my wife learned that Dr. Arthur Benjamin
(the author of "Mathemagic")
had a similar epiphany when he was a youth...
and she remembered Alex's "paper" on a pattern he had noticed when he was young
(she, of course, takes photos and saves all of Alex's papers).

I remember the day Alex announced his "discovery" 
and said he was going to write a paper on it.

Alex's eyes always lit up when he had his epiphanies.
He would get excited and either write, or type, a paper on them.


A quote from Alex's paper:

"Have you noticed something?  
I hope you have, because there IS something to be noticed"  :)


Alex had a far deeper understanding of Math in Elementary School than I have ever had.

As I freely admit...
compared to my son, Alex...
I am a relative bonehead...
or a boneheaded relative...
whichever you may prefer  :)



A couple of years ago...
Alex actually met Dr. Arthur Benjamin at a symposium.

Alex was star struck in his meeting with him as he was 
one of Alex's favorite math video instructors.

We had all of his videos and we had bought his latest one at his booth.


My lessons to take from this article?



Always encourage your child's strengths...
fully support his drive by getting him all the material on the subject you can...
from the best you can find.


And always...
ALWAYS...
photo/video record your child's life as he grows...
even if the events may seem ordinary.

As you look back at the photos of years gone by...
you are once again there.

All of your senses remember the events vividly.
You see, hear, smell and feel the sights, sounds, aromas and touch
as the holograph of the mind plays for you...anywhere and anytime.

All of those seemingly insignificant events take on great significance as you age.

Life is rich because of our memories.

The more, the deeper, and the greater the memories...
the richer, the deeper, and the greater...is life.

It takes but one photo to bring back the symphonies
 and the dancing, reverberating colors and flavors of those events
which had faded into the background of the present.

I had almost forgotten about Alex's math paper...
until my wife brought it up after seeing a video of Dr. Benjamin
talking about his youth and his epiphany.

I am now reliving that day...
seeing my son announce his revelation with great suppressed pride
(he doesn't usually express his emotions outwardly...
he tries to consciously damper them...
but that just makes me even more proud of him.
In general...the deeper the feeling...the more sacred it is).

Because he sees deep pride as something which is private and sacred...
his eyes will slightly water, his posture will become erect...
his chest will puff outwardly, just slightly...
he will be standing almost at attention...
usually with his feet together...
and he will try to suppress his smile.

However...
with his head on a slightly downward tilt...
and with his bright dancing eyes recognizing the great happiness
he sees in our eyes as he meets our hugs and kisses...
he knows we are just as proud of him as the pride he feels in himself.


The great happiness I feel as I look back through photos of my son...is doubled... 
because I know the greatly heightened senses of the hologram of the mind that I feel

(the mind automatically magnifies that which is pleasurable...
and suppresses that which is negative)...

will be felt by my son, many years from now...
and when we, his parents, are long gone...
because of the photos we take...
in the here and now.

The reality of tomorrow...
is what we make it...
through our actions...
today.

Remember...
everything we experience...is actually a memory
(the mind combines, correlates, cogitates, puts into perspective and context...
and then...perceives).

Rich memories = rich life.


I sometimes get strange looks at restaurants because I am taking photos
of seemingly innocuous events (to them).

However...
they aren't the ones looking forward to reliving each of those moments...
the ones we can never get back...
and the ones which will greatly enhance...
not only one life...
but of all those who will share those memories.










2 comments:

  1. How wonderful that your wife digitally saved this paper - it really is remarkable to read Alex's insight at such a young age.

    I'm with you on capturing memories - I take a fair amount of photos, but I like the idea of scanning or photographing my son's papers as well. I know my wife will never allow me to save every physical paper, but digitally capturing them is just as good and it doesn't take up any space. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never thought that a simple paper would make me remember so much about the incident. Digital capturing is the perfect way to go...but my wife also saves many of his papers also :)

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...