Nothin’ says love like a Calculus book

February 14, 2006

Ahhhh, Valentines Day and a young man’s fancy turns to mathematics.

Pathetic? Perhaps.

Kimmy-the-wonderwife doesn’t expect much on Valentine’s Day. In fact, the first meeting of a new chapter of CocoaHeads (as in Cocoa tha Mac OS X framework) is tonight.

Over the years, my students have gotten to know Kim in many examples. She still remembers visiting one class and having a student ask her if she knew that I had thrown her into a pond in one example. She knew about that one. It was a related rates problem in which we looked at the ripples that were generated when she hit the water. She told the student that he shouldn’t worry, she was a very good swimmer. The student smiled and said “oh he told us that. That’s why he said he had to tie cement blocks to your ankles.”

I proposed to Kim on Valentines Day. Neither of us are very mushy about these things but she’s horrible at remembering dates so choosing this day makes it easy.

In any case – it is a very good Valentines Day. I’ve finished writing the first chapter of Head First Calculus and have fallen in love with the subject all over again. I miss being in front of a class and sharing the passion. But this is the next best thing. (Remind me to tell you some time about what I learned from Barry Manilow about teaching)

I’ve tried out the chapter on my nine year old and she seems to like it. The six year old likes the pictures.

Pictures? In a calculus book? Sure – we’re only 40 pages in and already have everything from ancient greeks to a man and a woman in bathing suits.

Writing a book requires sacrifice on the part of people around me. Today Kim gave me one of those special Valentine’s Day gifts that says she really cares in a way that flowers or chocolate couldn’t express (although chocolate would have been nice). She saw the look on my face as I printed out the first chapter and encouraged me to take the time to finish the book.

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3 Responses to “Nothin’ says love like a Calculus book”

  1. RayGossen Says:

    I’m really looking forward to hearing what you learned from Barry Manilow about teaching.

  2. fitzpatrick Says:

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