Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Baker's Dozen Random Beth Factoids

I don't own a single pair of black shoes.  Every time I put on an all black/mostly black get-up (like today) I think, "I should really try to get a pair of black shoes."  And then I never do.  I have four pair of brown shoes.

I've never in my life had a lobster, crab, or shrimp in my mouth.  I decided early on that fishy, water-born foods weren't for me.  To me they taste like.... hmmm how to say it...watery funk.  I've never been able to get passed that. 

Relatedly, I went deep sea fishing once of the coast of Oregon.  Everyone on the boat got seasick except me and one uncle.  I had an absolute blast and made the catch of the day--a 32 inch cod.  That was the last fish I attempted to eat as I recall.  Even fresh and caught by my own hand I had one thought when it hit my mouth, "Yuck." 

I still find myself avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk like I am seven.  Then I realize what I am doing and stop.  But, inevitably I start doing it again several blocks later.

I'm opposed to cracking my knuckles.  People always say it feels good, but my knuckles have always felt good without such a procedure.  Cracking necks is the worst.  I always figured my sister, Sarah, would pop her head right off one day.

I can cross one eye and keep the other staring straight ahead.  It creeps Matt out I think, though its not like I use this talent often or anything.

I have a rediculously hard time with math.  Embarrasingly difficult sometimes.  Even simple multipliction takes me time.  Did you ever have to do those timed math sheets where they give you like 100 problems and see how many you can get done in a set time period?  Those filled me with shame and horror as a student.  They made me cry.  Years later math still has a tendency to make me cry.  It strange because I am so sharp with words and so hard up with numbers.  My mother is a whiz with numbers. I wish I was.  I'm still working on it. 

I won't drink plain, milk-flavored milk, cow, soy or otherwise.  I love chocolate milk though.  Strawberry milk works, too.  But, milk-flavored milk....no way.

Relatedly, even though people seem to think eggnog is fabulous and "tastes like bubblegum," I find it heinous.  I mean, who wants to drink thick, gooey, sticky, liquid bubblegum?  (The answer is lots of people apparently.)

I can't bring myself to buy books anymore.  Its the curse of working in a library.  Its too painful to buy something I can get for free. And I have three libraries in town at my disposal so...

I've refused to play Guitar Hero out of (some sort of) principle.  I figure I'd might as well just get better at my real guitar.

When I went to Europe in 2002 I was still a smoker.  I was blown away by cigarette vending machines.  I had sort of fuzzy memories of such machines in the United States, but they'd pretty much all gone away by my youth.  They were all over Europe though.  I bought a pack specifically because it was bright orange and I thought it looked cool.  I'd never seen an orange pack of cigarette before.  They turned out to be filter-less and thus, terrible.  I traded them to a German school teacher who helped me find my train.  He said they were the kind he smoked as a boy so they brought him back happy memories. 

I have a semi-secret love for Amish fiction.  I strongly admire the Amish culture and all the stories have happy endings. They are so sweet, cheesy, and predictable, but they make me happy.   Now my semi-secret is out.

8 comments:

  1. Have you read the one by Jodi Picout?

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    1. I have not. I've read a few of her books....My Sister's Keeper, Plain Truth, and....hmmmm I feel there is one more....I can't remember though. Her books are compellingly captivating, don't you think? A little dark sometimes though, but that is good every now and again.

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  2. Part 1
    I don't know why I am just seeing this post!

    Black shoes work better with black than brown, but why not try a yellow or red or pink pair?

    Ditto on seafood and knuckle-cracking and not getting seasick.

    Love milk and choc milk, hate soy and strawberry milk.

    Drink eggnog and it makes me so nauseous I wonder why I do it every year.

    Beth, words are our strong points. A different part of the mind does math. I am a whiz at all the simple math stuff, all the way to algebra. I took remedial math when I was 46 to get the degree I started when I was 17. I saved it for my last class and took two graduate level English courses for my MA in Eng at the same time.

    When I finally got to the algebra final, five days before graduation, I cried in the math final, just tears and sniffles. As I went down the aisle of two hundred students, I whimpered a bit. When I opened the door to the hall, I sobbed. As I went down the hall to the bathroom, I wailed. In the bathroom, it was all primal screams with the wailing and sobbing and kicking of trash can and beating stall doors.

    Two young students came in and I told them I could not divide the monomial into the binomial or the binomial into the polynomial, yeah, that's it. They took out pen and paper to show me how. I said I could not cheat. They assured me I could and should. What I meant was that I could not remember it that long. Sure enough, I could not remember it.

    I had just written the problem down wrong and had no problem solving it. I never, ever figured out how to do solutions.

    The first job I got was teaching GED and I had to teach algebra, Geometry, and other hard things. I was clean enough for a colonoscopy by time for class. I had vomited bucketsful. I wanted to cry but was too dehydrated for tears.

    I followed the directions in their books for the first problem a student could not work. I moved three feet to help another student with the same problem. I had forgotten how to do it.

    Finally, I developed a mnemonic system for all of the math I had to teach. The miracle was that I had figured out how to teach word people math principles. People cried because they finally had someone explain math in a way they could understand it. Other teachers and students have suggested I write a book.

    Aides in public schools, former students, and friends who have heard me talk of my experience call me to help their children. Believe it or not, I can teach math/algebra over the phone.

    For two years, I did algebra problems for fun each night and learned a little trig along the way.

    All math is not done on paper. Most is in your head and never committed to paper. So, I write down what to think for my students.

    You have dyscalculia. It has nothing to do with IQ. You may suffer from social instigators that hindered your learning.

    You definitely have math anxiety. No wonder.

    I taught "Math Anxiety and how to overcome it" to a group of twelve women at a university. All husbands were scientists, PhD, physicists, all mathy oriented. No husband had ever been able to help any of the women in the group. All the women were in their 50s and could do little math, certainly not fractions.

    I never say, "What did I just say?" "How did you do this one?" "Think!" "How many times am I going to have to tell you?" I never sigh or act like this is a complete bother. It is not a bother to help people get math.

    I speak in a soft, never-judgmental voice, never show impatience, and USE COLORED BOARD MARKERS AND COLORED PENS, ALWAYS!

    Look up Learning Styles. I used that for every problem. One guy said, after the GED test, that he remembered how I put my hands in order to remember how to solve the fence pole and tree height problem.

    Part 2 next

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  3. Psrt 2
    I taught "Math Anxiety and how to overcome it" to a group of twelve women at a university. All husbands were scientists, PhD, physicists, all mathy oriented. No husband had ever been able to help any of the women in the group. All the women were in their 50s and could do little math, certainly not fractions.

    I never say, "What did I just say?" "How did you do this one?" "Think!" "How many times am I going to have to tell you?" I never sigh or act like this is a complete bother. It is not a bother to help people get math.

    I speak in a soft, never-judgmental voice, never show impatience, and USE COLORED BOARD MARKERS AND COLORED PENS, ALWAYS!

    Look up Learning Styles. I used that for every problem. One guy said, after the GED test, that he remembered how I put my hands in order to remember how to solve the fence pole and tree height problem.

    I also tell silly, stupid stories and encourage students to ridicule me to their friends as they repeat the stories so they will be reinforcing the lesson I taught them.

    (200 students were tested at one time, many sections combined so they would not have to make separate tests for each section.)

    Okay, sorry to hijack your post with one of my own.

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  4. That is VERY interesting, Linda. I will look into this a little. Learning Styles, you say? and colored pens? I bet different colors does help make it more visually clear.

    I had one teacher, College Algebra, who reached me. I got B's in his class. I was so proud. He would just keep explaining it in different ways until I got it. He also never cared if I stayed after class to ask help on every question...crying softly frequently.

    Oh, how I hated it when I'd cry in class.....it WAS better if you could escape and do it on your own private time. But I do cry easily so I didn't always manage it.

    I am taking part in an online math skill builder program and I think it is helping...but slowly. I hope so.

    Thanks for the comment. I certainly know I can do anything I set my mind and heart to so I should just do it with math. I know that it can be done from your story.

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  5. Read Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner.

    Learning styles are the Fleming and maybe James theories--visual, kenesthetic, and auditory. It is simple, but on wikipedia on the subject, it is filled with other weird stuff.

    http://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/

    When I used the colored pens/markers, I made a mark with the color of pen I used off to the side so students had a legend to follow, to know the order.

    Beth, always write the problem on the left hand side of the page and do all the little figuring we scratch to the right. Have nothing mixed in with your problem.

    Ignore lines and write larger, maybe using unlined paper.

    The math prof and an older guy tried to help me. As I leaned on the outdoor brick wall, they stood in front of me and using their man voices tried to coerce me into learning That is how it felt. I told them they had to talk softly because their loud voices made it where I could not learn. Of course, they HAD to move closer like I was deaf. So, it looked like two guys were seducing me because of their forcing their voices into a lower range and becoming softer. I was on the verge of tears, so the whole sight was probably confusing to others....lol.

    My eighteen-year-old friend, Elizabeth, who I met in remedial algebra, was my best teacher. She accidentally tested into remedial algebra because she drove all night from PA to AL and slept three hours before her placement test.

    MY son took algebra three times. Daughter was a math whiz in high school. Other daughter needed a tutor for two years in middle school. She said it was until her head finally got algebra. Then, she excelled. Oldest and youngest had no problems until algebra. Math whiz middle child? I did not think she was EVER going to learn multiplication in third grade.

    I secretly want to be a math teacher, but I am afraid of all the college math classes.

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  6. http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!