Skip to main content

The Value of Shared Experiences



Then, there was silence except for No. 2's small singing voice pleasantly crooning along...

We made cinnamon rolls a few nights ago.  It's a fun time with the kids helping, but there's always a bit of a ruckus over taking turns.  They help roll out dough, or break the eggs, or mix up the cinnamon sugar.  Our youngest no. 3 has just become mobile enough to help.  She's also just reaching the age where it seems like throwing a fit might be the way to get things changed when they don't go her way.

No. 2 and 3 had just finished helping put cinnamon rolls in the pan.  No. 3, as I've mentioned before, takes in everything.  While placing rolls in the baking pan, she apparently also noticed that her brother No. 2 was mixing the cinnamon sugar.  I told them all that we were done helping, and it was time to go play again.  No. 3 pointed at the cinnamon sugar mix, and began to scream.  There were a dozen different ways I could have defused the moment.  I, for example,  could have just given her a turn while I supervised, (left unsupervised, she was going to woof all the sugar down).  I didn't though.  Chalk it up to a bad dad moment, but No. 3's fit continued.  She wandered from the kitchen to the living room screaming at the top of her lungs.  Wow, WOW! is No. 3 loud!

Then, out of nowhere, No. 2 walked up to No. 3, and started singing Itsy Bitsy Spider.  No. 3 slowed down her screams, sniffled for a bit, and then?  Then, there was silence except for No. 2's small singing voice pleasantly crooning along for no. 3!

I grinned from ear to ear!  The irony is that up until a few months ago, No. 2 was our premiere fit thrower.  He's slowly been winding down his fits, developing coping habits.  Now, instead of throwing a fit, he'll usually sigh heavily, walk to his room, and about five minutes later return.  Sometimes, he even wants to talk it out!  I was bracing for another few years of fits from No. 3, and I still expect we'll have them, but how awesome is it that No. 2, our biggest fit thrower to date is now our biggest helper in making them end?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla



to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.



What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:



2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:



3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:



How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

Lab Book 2014_07_10 More NaI Characterization

Summary: Much more plunking around with the NaI detector and sources today.  A Pb shield was built to eliminate cosmic ray muons as well as potassium 40 radiation from the concreted building.  The spectra are much cleaner, but still don't have the count rates or distinctive peaks that are expected.
New to the experiment?  Scroll to the bottom to see background and get caught up.
Lab Book Threshold for the QVT is currently set at -1.49 volts.  Remember to divide this by 100 to get the actual threshold voltage. A new spectrum recording the lines of all three sources, Cs 137, Co 60, and Sr 90, was started at approximately 10:55. Took data for about an hour.
Started the Cs 137 only spectrum at about 11:55 AM

Here’s the no-source background from yesterday
In comparison, here’s the 3 source spectrum from this morning.

The three source spectrum shows peak structure not exhibited by the background alone. I forgot to take scope pictures of the Cs137 run. I do however, have the printout, and…

Unschooling Math Jams: Squaring Numbers in their own Base

Some of the most fun I have working on math with seven year-old No. 1 is discovering new things about math myself.  Last week, we discovered that square of any number in its own base is 100!  Pretty cool!  As usual we figured it out by talking rather than by writing things down, and as usual it was sheer happenstance that we figured it out at all.  Here’s how it went.

I've really been looking forward to working through multiplication ala binary numbers with seven year-old No. 1.  She kind of beat me to the punch though: in the last few weeks she's been learning her multiplication tables in base 10 on her own.  This became apparent when five year-old No. 2 decided he wanted to do some 'schoolwork' a few days back.

"I can sing that song... about the letters? all by myself now!"  2 meant the alphabet song.  His attitude towards academics is the ultimate in not retaining unnecessary facts, not even the name of the song :)

After 2 had worked his way through the so…