Matters Thorny

Summer                                                              New (Lughnasa) Moon

croppedIMAG0360Kate destemmed and clipped the wispy end off all the gooseberries I picked. Gooseberries are just this side of not being worth the effort. She put them in a bowl with our blueberries, mixed them and made tarts. Tasty. We also had green beans and carrots tonight, one day out of the garden. With fish.

The Latin I reviewed over the last couple of days continues to come more easily. Incremental jumps, consolidation of past learning and, by now, long practice have combined to push me forward. Kate reminded me (I’d forgotten.) that I started on this because I doubted I could learn a foreign language. But, I wanted to try.

I’ve felt for many years the same way about calculus and step by slow step I’m learning pre-calculus through the Khan Academy. Somewhere back in my education, maybe junior high or so, I got into the habit of racing through exams, wanting to finish well ahead of everybody else and have the rest of the time to myself. As I work on these math problems, I find that same self-pressure, a hurry-up attitude has not left me. It gets in my way. I make bone head mistakes, having to take more time going back over what I’ve done. So, I’m slowing down. Making sure.

Why am I doing this? I enjoy challenging myself, pushing myself into strange places, foreign lands. Latin was a foreign country four years ago, though I’m now a resident alien. Calculus continues to be a faraway land, but I’ve found a path and I’m on it. These are different ways of looking at the world, different perspectives. With Latin I’m going deep into an ancient culture and the deeper I go the more mysterious it becomes. I imagine calculus will prove the same.

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