Monday, September 12, 2011

Palate Cleanser #157

Prime Memories, deviation by Marzie

A Palate Cleanser aside: 

When I was a kid, my parents would argue a lot. (They divorced when I was thirteen, thank goodness. That left things more open for me to argue with them, like a normal teen.) Sometimes, when they would argue at the dinner table, I would tune out and self-soothe by counting primes. At age ten I was obsessed with primes. I had been introduced to them by Mrs. Berry Shaw at Everglades Elementary School. Easily one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mrs. Shaw thought that I was under-challenged and allowed me to 1) read whatever I wanted as long as I was done with my school work and would sit with her at recess and talk about what I was reading and 2) gave me the underpinnings of algebraic thinking and introduced me to some really cool ideas, including primes. Mrs. Shaw had a fearsome reputation that has lingered in the memory of many a student, but I liked her, I'd even say loved her, and she made a huge difference in my life. Back in the 60's and early 70's, Miami public schools didn't really have things like gifted and magnet programs. My parents switched me to a private school at sixth grade and I was able to eventually skip two years and graduate high school at sixteen. I was so relieved to get out.

My love of primes lingers. Every once in a while, I fall back on primes, or, because of the complication of primes being difficult to predict, on Fibonacci numbers, which were introduced to me by Mrs. Leona Blatt in 7th grade. Oh, and when Mrs. Jane Bruegger found out about that in 8th grade, she told me about Lucas numbers, which started at 2 instead of 0, but followed the same pattern as Fibonacci.

I still relish numbers. I know all my credit cards from memory and even my driver's license, insurance account, bank account numbers. I still remember my street address and zip code from when I was ten and in Mrs. Berry Shaw's class.

I'm currently reading a book currently called The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. It's following a recent read that was a hard act to follow, but so far, so good.

Okay, enough about primes. On to PINK

© Bright Nepenthe, 2011

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