Monday, January 27, 2014

Rebecca: Revenge of the nerds

Over the past few weeks, Ben has been learning how to throw objects in iOS (I think that is the program language for his app development).  My understanding is the development environment has some basic physics, like gravity, already incorporated.   Ben, however, has spent the last few weeks muttering about vectors, angles, velocity, mass, and a lot of physics terms that make my tummy cramp.  Physics was NOT my favorite subject in college.  As Ben learns how to use physics to successfully throw objects, bounce dots, and manipulate velocity, he excitedly shows me.  To me, honestly, it looks like the old hand-held football game...the one with the red dashes.

In the last 2-3 days, he has been working on moving objects from point A to point B.  That requires Trigonometry.  Today, he was muttering about the tangent and the hypotenuse.  I reflexively yelled "SOHCAHTOA, some old horse caught another horse taking oats away."  I showed my brilliance by giving the formulas for sin, cos, and tan.  Thank you Mrs. Agnew.  Be proud...I remembered something from high school trig.  Looking back, I am certain that I sat in Trig wondering if I would ever use these very hard math formulas.  Who knew?  You do need them.  All those years of math agony make practical sense now.  It was fun to watch Ben move a "person" around the screen.

So finally, nerdom has some benefits, AND today's tweens think nerds are cool.  My tween child thinks cool nerds include peers that love Rick Riordan books, kids that watch Hobbit movies, even adults that follow Star Wars or Star Trek, and definitely, adults that have made mega riches on some really cool computer game.  Not adults that remember SOHCAHTOA from high school math.

1 comment:

  1. I was actually reading a chapter that had the comment that everyone should remember the old mnemonic for trigonometry, when Rebecca shouted out, "SOHCAHTOA!" I was still looking at the SOH CAH TOA line to figure out how to pronounce this for later memory when she shouted the pronunciation out. "Are you kidding me?" was my response.