Tuesday, May 05, 2009

a squared plus b squared equals c squared

I spent a small piece of my afternoon texting with my 16-year-old mentee about math homework.

Her: I have a ? wats a hypotenuse.

Me [Googling “hypotenuse” because, before I realize we’re talking about math homework, all I can think is, A misspelling of hypotension?]: Just looked it up: the longest side of a right triangle. i haven’t done geometry in a LONG time!

Her: Um do u knw how to find it if 1 side is equal 9 & da other 1 to 12?

Me: Pythagorean theorem? i’ll ask my math teacher sister and get back to u!


The world’s most roundabout math tutoring session then ensued, with me texting my sister and then texting my mentee. Someone really needs to work on getting “+” and “=” signs onto the text menu. I understand that the square root sign probably has a limited audience. (Shut up, all you people with iPhones. I know you probably have a “+” and an “=” already. You probably have a fucking math homework application.)

Is it lame that I felt kind of cutting-edge? I was all, Look at me! Texting about math! I live in the future! As if I am now equipped to raise teenagers because I type “u” instead of “you” sometimes.

It is probably the equivalent of the conversation I witnessed on the Facebook wall of my really awesome 60-something Aunt Connee:

Karen: Hey Connee! What is the difference between facebook and e-mail?

Connee: KAREN, WHO THE HECK KNOWS. THE IMPORTANT PART IS THAT WE ARE NOW TRENDY. TALK TO YOU THE OLD FASHIONED WAY SOON ON THE TELEPHONE.

8 comments:

Peter Varvel said...

Ha ha ha! I craved communication of any kind, ever since I was a teenager, especially written communication. So, of course this forty-something is reveling in today's current technology options.
And hooray, still, for the old fashioned ways of communicating!

jenny said...

ur ant connee is da hippest! 2 cool!

(do kids say cool anymore?)

Cheryl said...

PV: In-person is still my favorite, followed by email ('cause you can be long-winded in an email in a way you can't when typing on a phone), followed by phone. I've always been bad at phone.

J: I heard they say "book" because it uses the same phone buttons as "cool." But that could totally be an urban legend. I wouldn't know.

Laura and the family said...

Even before texting created, I once phoned your father on teletype and asked for an answer for my physic class. (I sucked in any Science class.) I printed all of the explanation from your father and wrote it down for my homework's answer. (I know I was bad! But doing any logic does not click to me)

Now I know texting from the phone is a lot faster than waiting for a reply on an email ! We should be blessed for our today's technology.

Cheryl said...

Ooh, I'm telling! Just kiddin'. I always relied on my dad to get me through science class too.

Meehan said...

Please retain your memory and write-up of the math texting incident so I can use it as an anecdote in my forthcoming math memoir...this inspires me to get my book proposal going for that.

Cheryl said...

Totally fodder for your book!

Jamie said...

Priceless!