Skip to main content

What Would Tatum Do? (Don't Fret just; Fix It!)

And We Went the Other Way
My life has been punctuated of late with various utterances of “No,” and “That’s not allowed,” regarding our day to day unschooling activities.  These admonishments have touched on topics including sitting on bar-stools, participating in museum classes, and  even helping out at volunteer soup kitchens.  It’s been kind of exasperating to say the least.  For the longest time I found myself sinking into a pit of embitterment.  I almost wrote about my negative feelings a time or two, but then narrowly talked myself out of it after jotting down a few notes.  Each time I’d giggle, and admonish myself with one of our local idioms, “What would Tatum do?”  If you’ve never heard of JB Tatum, he’s a physicist from Vancouver, Canada who may have never impolitely uttered a negative word, as especially illustrated by this, his most vehement of scientific diatribes.

I wondered and wondered how Tatum would handle these situations.  Then finally, (sometimes I’m slow), a few weeks ago, it occurred to me!.  He wouldn’t sit around focusing on what was denied, he’d work towards an alternative solution.  Relentlessly.  And so, my mantra, every time I started to complain became, “Yes, but what’s the solution, how can what’s missing be replaced?”

The writing group we were missing out on because “adults need a safe space to write,” transformed into a freestyle writing hangout.  Sure, we couldn’t schedule library study rooms as we had in the past, but we could hangout in the library lounge, because well, everyone is free to hang out in the lounge.  We can take turns free-writing,reading, and commenting, to build our writing skills, and you know what?  We know so many patrons at the library!  We’ll have another writing group built in not time, and this one without rules.  Write what you please!

The museum class that no longer exists for toddlers?  Simplicity itself.  As it turns out, our museum membership allows for up to three more adults per visit, and an unlimited number of kids.  If we chip in to hire one of the docents we loved in the class that no longer exists, we’ll be off and running!

And as for the bar stools?  Well, it’s always a bummer when a place doesn’t turn out to be your favorite new hangout.  Good thing we have a number of existing hangouts where we’re treated like one of the family, I think we’ll focus on the sheer delight of hanging out at those places!

What are your favorite homeschooling workarounds to “No”?

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…

Lost Phone

We were incredibly lucky to have both been in university settings when our kids were born.  When No. 1 arrived, we were both still grad students.  Not long after No. 2 arrived, (about 10 days to be exact), mom-person defended her dissertation and gained the appellation prependage Dr. 

While there are lots of perks attendant to grad school, not the least of them phenomenal health insurance, that’s not the one that’s come to mind for me just now.  The one I’m most grateful for at the moment with respect to our kids was the opportunities for sheer independence.  Most days, we’d meet for lunch on the quad of whatever university we were hanging out at at the time, (physics research requires a bit of travel), to eat lunch.  During those lunches, the kids could crawl, toddle, or jog off into the distance.  There were no roads, and therefore no cars.  And, I realize now with a certain wistful bliss I had no knowledge of at the time, there were also very few people at hand that new what a baby…

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…