Math thoughts

place

Oh how I wish I was good at math!

This summer, each of our team members took time reading Gladwell’s Outliers. The part that stood out the most to us was the discussion about rice paddies.

We were living in the world of muddy rice fields and it gave us an entirely new perspective.

“Rice paddies are ‘built,’ not ‘opened up’ the way a wheat field is. You don’t have to clear the trees, underbrush, and stones, and then plow. Rice fields are carved into mountain sides in an elaborate series of terraces, or painstakingly constructed from marshland and river plains. A rice paddy has be irrigated, so a complex system of dikes has to be built around the field. Channels must be dug from the nearest water source, and gates built into the dikes to the water flow can be adjusted precisely to cover the right amount of the plant . . .” – Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

[Photo: My favorite spot in Letang//Grace Farson]

The world shapes us

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Favorite thing I read all week:

“What is she fearing, I ask. Nothing, says Lina. Why then does she run to Sir? Because she can, Lina answers. Sudden a sheet of sparrows fall from the sky and settle in the trees. So many the trees seem to sprout birds, not leaves at all. Lina points. We never shape the world she says. The world shapes us. Sudden and silent the sparrows are gone. I am not understanding Lina. You are my shaper and my world as well. It is done. No need to choose.” – Toni Morrison, A Mercy

[Photos: Siti’s village, outside of Tembi, Indonesia//Grace Farson]

Winter morning

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It feels like summer//70 degrees// Shorts to class.

I am entirely unprepared for a real winter.

Winters are long here.
The road a dark gray, the maples gray, silvered with lichen,
and the sun low on the horizon,
white on blue; at sunset, vivid orange-red.

When I shut my eyes, it vanishes.
When I open my eyes, it reappears.
Outside, spring rain, a pulse, a film on the window.

And suddenly it is summer, all puzzling fruit and light.

– Louise Gl├╝ck, Winter Morning

For your Monday:

+ A pretty song about frost falling (?) for your week.

+ A pretty photo of St. Petersburg in snow

+ A pretty video of Iceland

[Photos: Comfortably cool September days in Virginia and North Carolina//Grace Farson]