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The fearsome 'x'

Never thought of algebra this way. I showed to aai (mom-in-law) the plaque I recently got from a nursery in Houston. It read 'another day has passed AND I DIDN'T USE ALGEBRA ONCE'.


The response was prompt and unexpected. It's not true, she said, We apply algebra every moment! Then came the explanation. When a student is planning to attend a lecture, he/she is calculating the different parameters to compute the x, the time it would take him/her to reach the class. The wrong estimation of the parameters and/or the unexpected perturbations often then result in erroneous x, forging the celebrated late comers. 


Honestly, I had never thought of algebra, or mathematics for that matter, this way. This was a simple but powerful explanation of a Reality of Life. Every moment, we are solving an equation in our brain to execute the next task. Aren't we? When to do, what to do, how to do, are all manifestations of a mathematical riddle. 


Also, if we can come up with such creative and earthy examples, would we not succeed in reducing the ever increasing fear of mathematics? Hmm, that's a monstrous `x' ;) 


Overall, an enlightening moment...

The new footprint

He has defined the course....he decided when to arrive, a little less prepared, but he fought, and thrived. Last Thursday, he took a giant step, surprising us, when he decided to become the `big boy' and sleep alone. From our perspective, he was unprepared because of our pampering, but he slept, ironically, like a baby. The picture reveals, or rather defines, contentment! Contentment that comes from deep within because he defined the goal, he executed it, and he achieved it.


I am almost certain that all us have at times realized the value of being confident of ourselves, may be a bit too late some times. This confidence from within, when you push the external world in the backdrop is priceless, because on one hand it enables you to pursue your passion fearlessly and on the other hand, stabilizes you against external perturbations. From the perfect shot in sports to the perfect note in music, confidence is the key. This conviction eventually defines the identity of a person, deficit of which leads to an infinite loop of chase-and-run. As parents (or teachers), our obligation is to catalyze these rare events. Our obligation is to use our experience and creativity to expand the canvas allowing the children to find their binding sites, helping them chisel their identity.


Yes, it feels great when Siddharth sleeps on our arms. Yes, it feels good when he likes the clothes we chose. Yes, it feels good when he likes the songs we listen to. Yes, it feels good when he eats from our hands. But he has to meet his `confident and unique self'! The one who will stand by him to counter the external forces, from bullying in schools to survival in the exponentially increasing competitive world. The one who will help him excel in his passions. The one that might help him find, in the long run, the rarest of the rare possessions, Peace!

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