7S_1.4

“What’s going on?” asks Zed. Eppie has
produced a cel-phone meanwhile, and now turns
his back on the seated pair, apparently intending
to photograph the notes on the board.

“Hey, I thought we weren’t supposed to bring any
computers to this thing.” Zed to Eppie.

“We haven’t even started yet. Anyhow, the
judges have made their decision; now let ’em
enforce it. Does anybody else actually object if I
use my phone?”

“Oh, right. Here comes mister do-what-thou-wilt-shall-
-be-the-whole-of-the-law again.” Zed again.

I sure don’t mind” says Betty, and takes her
phone out of her pocket. “It doesn’t seem right to me;
of course we can be quite certain that they’re taping us“.
She gestures at the slide-projecter on the ceiling
at the back of the hall. “I’ve got lots of notes
and things on mine.”

Al throws up both hands in a don’t-ask-me! gesture
and turns his upper-body and neck around looking
behind him for Gemma and Del.

“Well maybe we should wait until we get started
before we commit to anything. Does anybody know
who’s supposed to be presenting today?” Gemma says.

Del doesn’t look up at first. But he can somehow
tell anyway that everybody’s looking at him.
“Not me, man.” Still not looking up. “Unless I
get to use this guitar over here.” As he
touches the neck of the guitar and finally glances
quickly at each of the others’ faces. Then looks
directly back at his pad and picks up a marker.

“But what about this cel-phone-usage thing?” Zed.

“Hey, I don’t care either way. I can’t work
the damn things, of course.” Del finally looks directly
at Zed and they size each other up silently for a second.

Betty gets up, pointing at her phone and looking at Eppie.
“The signs of the seven ancient planets were on the board
when we all got here. Al and I were talking about how it
might have something to do with days of the week.”

By the time Etta shows up a few minutes later, Al has moved
to the aisle seat of Gemma’s row. “I thought you were
going to be our speaker when you came in.”

And Zed’s in the back talking to Del.

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  1. Virtual MEdZ
    Son of Math Ed Zine Blog
    7S_1.4 Edit Link
    October 19, 2015 in Seven Stories. Leave a Comment

    “What’s going on?” asks Zed. Eppie has
    produced a cel-phone meanwhile, and now turns
    his back on the seated pair, apparently intending
    to photograph the notes on the board.

    “Hey, I thought we weren’t supposed to bring any
    computers to this thing.” Zed to Eppie.

    “We haven’t even started yet. Anyhow, the
    judges have made their decision; now let ’em
    enforce it. Does anybody else actually object if I
    use my phone?”

    “Oh, right. Here comes mister do-what-thou-wilt-shall-
    -be-the-whole-of-the-law again.” Zed again.

    “I sure don’t mind” says Betty, and takes her
    phone of her pocket. “It doesn’t seem right to me;
    of course we can be quite certain that they’re taping us“.
    She gestures at the slide-projecter on the ceiling
    at the back of the hall. “I’ve got lots of notes
    and things on mine.”

    Al throws up both hands in a don’t-ask-me! gesture
    and turns his upper-body and neck around looking
    behind him for Gemma and Del.

    “Well maybe we should wait until we get started
    before we commit to anything. Does anybody know
    who’s supposed to be presenting today?” Gemma says.

    Del doesn’t look up at first. But he can somehow
    tell anyway that everybody’s looking at him.
    “Not me, man.” Still not looking up. “Unless I
    get to use this guitar over here.” As he
    touches the neck of the guitar and finally glances
    quickly at each of the others’ faces. Then looks
    directly back at his pad and picks up a marker.

    “But what about this cel-phone-usage thing?” Zed.

    “Hey, I don’t care either way. I can’t work
    the damn things, of course.” Del finally looks directly
    at Zed and they size each other up silently for a second.

    Betty gets up, pointing at her phone and looking at Eppie.
    “The signs of the seven ancient planets were on the board
    when we all got here. Al and I were talking about how it
    might have something to do with days of the week.”

    By the time Etta shows up a few minutes later, Al has moved
    to the aisle seat of Gemma’s row. “I thought you were
    going to be our speaker when you came in.”

    And Zed’s in the back talking to Del.

    7S_1.3 Edit Link
    October 18, 2015 in Seven Stories. Leave a Comment

    Al sits down again next to Betty.

    Gemma finds her nametag in her purse and,
    slinging it again around her shoulder, she
    finds a seat in the second row across the
    aisle from Al and Betty. She puts her purse
    on the desk.

    Betty’s got the notes from the board in her
    spiral-bound notebook.

    ☉ Sun
    ☽ Mon
    ♂ Tue
    ☿ Wed
    ♃ Thu
    ♀ Fri
    ♄ Sat

    “It doesn’t make sense this way, though!”
    According to Al. “Those are symbols for objects
    in the sky, not for days-of-the-week!”

    “I disagree”, Betty replies, “the Sun and Moon still
    match up with the days even in English, and, like you
    said, in French they match up better still.”

    “But the genders are wrong, for heck’s sake!
    I want it to at least match up to the comics!
    Now this
    ♂ (drawing in her notepad)
    I know means Mars… a wargod, even.
    That oughta be Thor, on my model: thundergod,
    wargod… pretty close fit. But whoever this “Tiu” is,
    that Tuesday’s supposed to be for, I am pretty sure
    she’s a goddess: wrong sex altogether.”

    “Don’t you mean gender?”

    “Do I? And Odin-to-Mercury doesn’t make much sense either;
    Odin’s the bigshot-in-chief like Saturn ♄ or something;
    let’s see… Thor’s his son, so I guess Thursday
    oughta be Jupiter ♄, not Mars… okay, good… I
    always thought that was game day somehow…”

    But Betty isn’t quite following all of this; Eppie and Zed
    have come in and are watching the goings-on in Betty’s note-
    book.

    “What’s going on?”

    7S_1.2 Edit Link
    October 17, 2015 in Seven Stories. Leave a Comment

    Saying not a word, Del proceeds to draw in [his] pad without
    looking again at any of the others.

    Meanwhile, Gemma’s erasing part of the board.

    ☽ Moon ♂ Mars ☿ Mercury ♃ Jupiter ♀ Venus ♄ Saturn☉ Sun
    monday mars-day make-ready jove-day friga-day saturn-day sunday

    Al is simultaneously drawing the various symbols
    at the other end of the board, along with their
    Gods-and-Days identifications.

    “You see,” says Gemma, and she looks around the room
    trying to make eye-contacts, “it must have had something
    to do with the number seven itself: there were
    seven celestial objects wandering around in the night sky…
    ‘planet’ means ‘wanderer’ (or so I’m told)… and seven
    days in a week… so the fortune-tellers decided that
    maybe each planet should ‘rule a day’, so to speak…
    whatever that might turn out to mean, as it were…”

    “But wait a minute. No, before that, even.
    What’s your name? I see you haven’t got your tag
    on…” Al grabs a corner of the nametag hung around
    his own neck and wiggles it a little.

    “Oh, hi… Al. I’m Gemma. I’ve got it here with me
    somewhere.” As she roots around in her purse.

    “The thing is, why should there be seven days in a week?
    Are you saying they did that because of these
    seven so-called ‘planets’ or whatever?”

    “I always heard it had something to do with the Moon,”
    says Betty. “A month is about 28 days, and”

    Al interrupts her with “OK, seven goes into 28. That
    makes sense, I suppose.”

    “Right.”

    And Al sits down again next to Betty.

    7S_1.1 Edit Link
    October 17, 2015 in Seven Stories. 1 Comment

    “Is it OK if I erase all these planets here?”

    “Well, hang on,” says Al, “and let me copy
    the symbols, over here.” And he picks up
    a red marker out of the chalk-gutter and
    moves over to the the upper-left-hand corner
    of the board.

    ☽♂☿♃♀♄☉
    MTWRF sS

    “Now, wait a minute,” says Betty. “How come
    you put Monday first?”

    “Well, that’s how it is on my calendar.
    With Saturday-and-Sunday at the end.
    Anyhow, that’s how I think of it:
    Sunday’s the day-of-rest from the Bible;
    ‘on the seventh day He rested’ and all that.
    What I wanna know is: what the heck do you
    mean planets? The Sun’s no planet…
    and neither is the Moon, for that matter.”

    “Well, in ancient times, there were only
    these seven objects that moved around
    in the sky against the background of the
    so-called ‘fixed stars’,” says Gemma.
    “What’s that got to do with days of the week?”

    Just then Del shows up with his rainbow-painted
    guitar and big blue backpack. He raises his head
    to glance one at each of the others and finds a seat
    way in the back. Then puts his guitar into one
    and moves it around until the desk holds it into
    the chair. Next he slides his pack off and puts
    it into a chair two-over from the one with the guitar,
    then sits between the pack and the guitar.
    He digs around in the pack for his colored pens
    and drawing pad. Saying not a word, Del begins
    to draw in the pad without looking again at any
    of the others.

    first draft of 7S_1.0–4
    ~1500 words.

  2. All Students Take Care.
    some say “Calculus”,
    but of course that’s not
    true at all. it’s even sort of
    dicey with “Care”. any-
    how, in case it’s unfamilar
    to anyone here.

    “Qi” has “All” (really “both”)
    signs *positive*,
    Qii has Sine > 0,
    Qiii has Tan > 0, and
    Qiv has Cos > 0
    (“and the others negative”).

    this isn’t worth memorizing in my opinion;
    i knew these facts well enough when all
    i knew was that (cos[\theta] , sin[\theta])
    is the point \theta radians around from
    (1,0) [= (cos(0), sin(0)), natch] on the
    unit circle. (and also that
    “tan = sin/cos”, of course).

    i’d already taught trig a couple times
    when someone… a fellow grad-student…
    showed it me. somebody *else* might
    find the mnemonic a useful one.

    (the “reciprocal identities”, of course,
    give the signs for sec, cot, and csc.)

    —cut-&-pasted from G+




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