So help me, I cannot remember figuring out the concept of mathematical inverses (multiplicative and additive), let alone when they were first introduced to me. I guess at the time I didn't even think it was cool, probably because it was only explained to me in terms of how to solve simple algebra problems, and not in terms of "ok, so this is one of those basic recurring concepts that'll keep turning up to interconnect all the math you know". Which is a shame. I'm trying to explain to my pre-algebra student about addition and subtraction are kind of the same, only opposite, and multiplication and division are the same, only opposite, and I don't know if I'm getting through at all. I'm trying to put it in terms of turning math problems inside out so they look prettier and easier to solve, but I don't know if that's the right thing to do. Part of the problem, I think, is that he's still struggling with complicated multiplication and division. Part of me wants to stop and work on those, but mostly I want to give him a calculator for the arithmetic and work on the concepts, since they're ever so much cooler. What I remember most about pre-algebra is Mr. Gelfand, who taught it: I swear, the man had a different suit for every day of the month, but he seemed particularly fond of a burgundy-red number that he wore with a yellow shirt. Also he apparently had a really bad toupee, but I never noticed. I'm kind of unobservant about that kind of thing; hairpieces have to be really, blatantly fake (like a different color from the rest of the person's hair), or else on someone I know to be bald, for me to pick up on them. But I digress. I digress so much, in fact, that I just took time out to write one of the few people I knew in middle school who might remember Mr. Gelfand and/or even be able to tell me when we learned inverses. I'm dork-tacular.
In other news, I still need a haircut, and Mother Kali's Books is probably going out of business, which means it's time for me to buy a copy of all the Alix Olson CDs they have in stock, because ack! Nowhere else has them in stock! I might complete my Dar Williams collection and finally get me some Toshi Reagon, while I'm at it. Did I mention waaaah? I knew Mother Kali's hadn't been doing well for some time, and that they'd gone through a horrific traumatic reorganization last fall, but wah!
Um, what else? Contact improv tonight (yay hippie dance!) and I should probably go get myself some binders and stuff to better organize my tutoring course materials and suchforth (plus, any excuse to go play in office-supplies land! Woo!) Maybe a trip to the library as well. Also food. Yes. Food would be good.