Hump Day. Grey, drizzly, Chilly.  Not a good day to weed -- too muddy, and too joint-aching.  We watched The Life of Pi. So what's the agenda after that on a day like this one?  Why we made the rounds of the garden shops, of course!  First stop Condon (yes, it ends in an "n" ) Gardens.  They had their gates closed.  Next we went by Joshua's, which was open, but we decided to bypass it today.  Headed to Heights Plant Farm, where we picked up a couple of bat faced cupheas.  Now this is neither edible nor native to Texas (native of Mexico)  but gosh darn it, they are so cute!  The little red flowers with their purple accents do look like tiny little bat faces with big red ears.  Then we headed over to Buchanan's where I had a $10 birthday certificate on a purchase of $20 or more.  Ended up spending about $16 for a Copper Canyon daisy, a salvia greggii, a salvia coccinea, a frogfruit, a Homestead purple verbena, and a plant I have now forgotten what it is but I know it will bloom purple. :)  And what's for dinner on a night like tonight?  Chili cheese dogs and fries. :)


So, ok,  I'm not thinking very deeply today, or I'm not sharing my deepest thoughts today.  I spent this morning reading science news stories.  Hydroelectric project in the Amazonian forest, displacing native peoples, flooding who knows how many acres of trees.  I'll give you one guess what my deepest thought
 
 
I learned to read between the ages of 2 and 3.  My maternal grandfather, my beloved DeeDee, taught me to play dominoes before he died when I was 4.  My parents took me to symphonies (classical music in early childhood seems to have a relationship with academic success later in life, especially math).  When I started kindergarten, I was already through most of the Nancy Drew novels.  When I reached first grade, the teacher recommended that I be moved into 2nd grade after 6 weeks. I was and there it was that my teacher told my parents I had an uncanny math ability.  

While various poor teachers nearly sabotaged my math performance, and undoubtedly sabotaged my self-confidence in the subject, I eventually ended up in a graduate program (PhD) in Applied Statistics, where a professor told me I had the greatest natural heuristic abillity he'd ever seen.

I taught statistics as a college instructor, business math, and later in a private grades 6-12 school, geometry and algebra.  I have tutored people from age 5 to 55 all along the way.  So I know a little something about math, and about learning math.  I also know something about the FEAR of math, particularly algebra.  It is with that, and the latest report on the US performance in math and reading that came out today,  that I am creating yet another page to this website entitled The Math Language.  There I will post reports on math performance, resources for parents and students, hints, tips, tricks, and the occasional rant :).    I hope you enjoy it, use it if you need it, and leave me some comments please!