Monthly Archives: December 2013

IS tHERE MATH FOR MISMATCHED SOCKS?

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A famous and widely popular poster several years ago was “Everything I Needed to Know in Life I Learned in Kindergarten”. I always wondered why there wasn’t a sequel.with all the stuff that I learned later…

 

 

 

There seems to be an amazing phenomenon that occurs frequently, that no math formulas they tried to cram into my head in geometry class covered. (By the way, speaking of geometry, I never learn the formula to help figure out the question that always seems to pop up on tests: If a train leaves Boston at 9AM traveling south at 90 miles and hour, and another train leaves from Chattenooga at 1AM, traveling north at 70 miles and hour, what time will they meet in New York City, and who’s paying for lunch. And having lived on the east coast for many years, I know that with the usual delays involved in traveling ANYWHERE by train, any time the schedule comes up with is nothing more than wishful thinking…But I digress…)

 

 

 

Something I call The RULE OF MISMATCHING should be created, then added to all school math classes as a practical application of probability theory. There must be something to account for:

 

  1. No matter how many plastic take-out containers and lids you save, you always end up missing a lid.

  2. (2)Put 8 pairs of socks the washer, but 7 pairs and one orphan will come out of the dryer, as well as a sock that isn’t yours—a comedian did a routine about this years ago, and he said he tried cutting down on the number of socks to stem the loss of clothing, and the washer put out a note saying, “feed the machine more socks.

  3. You take off a pair of earrings and put them into your jewelry case, and one earring always disappears. I once decorated a vest using all the orphaned earrings I found in the case.

  4. Hot dogs come 10 in a pack, but the buns come 8 to a bag? Do the bread manufacturers not know anything about the use of their product?

  5. Bedding sets include two pillowcases for all sizes except twin, which only gets a single case. Really? You wouldn’t have more than one pillow on a twin bed—especially since all the store displays use multiple pillows as a matter of course?

  6. AAA batteries come 2 to a pack(unless you buy the jumbo size)but most devices that need AAA need 3 batteries to do anything. Speaking of batteries, don’t get me started on those “button” batteries. Once you take them out of the device, they will never go back in. Go to a store and try to buy a replacement, and the clerk will still be laughing at you after you leave the store…”she wanted a LR32! AH,Hahahahahahaha!”.

 

 

 

Schools are always searching for ways to make math more relevant, so kids will stop zoning out during class. Answer the questions above and you might get their attention….

 

 

 

DON’T BULLY YOURSELF!

Rummaging through my purse, searching for my transit pass, I found a tiny orange card with three words written in white ink in the middle.  It said:

DON’T BULLY YOURSELF

It stopped me cold.  I  was leaving to attend a holiday luncheon with people from a past job, and was full of apprehension because I had recently read something uncomplimentary one of them had written about me.  As I re-read the paper, I thought, how sad that out of all the wonderful comments my co-workers had written to, and about me, the only thing that was sticking in my mind was a single, negative, personal–and frankly, rude–comment.

How often do we do that to ourselves?   When someone compliments us, we have trouble accepting it, and try to modestly brush it off.  But, their compliments may be genuine, and rejecting them is rude (thanks, but you have no idea what you’re talking about).  Why not allow yourself to accept the compliments, if you’re going to take the insults to heart as well.  We prefer to allow people to put us down, but feel self-conscious about allowing  them to lift us up.

This was the intent of the card.  There are plenty of people around who want to put you down, so why should you be one of them?  How many times have you done something wrong and found yourself saying,”well that was stupid of me”, “you idiot”, and other such insults.  Why?  If someone else made a mistake, you’d say, “it happens” or something to minimize the situation, but you tell yourself that you’re not entitled to make mistakes.

On a basic level–especially for women–just standing in front of a mirror, and saying “I look great” is almost impossible to do without adding a qualifier, “except for…….”, or “if only my___ was (larger, smaller, tighter, lighter, darker, thinner), etc. Try standing there and saying, “I like my____”.  Period,  Don’t let yourself–even as you walk away–think, “but I wish…..”.

There are many gatherings coming up in  the next few weeks, as part of the various holiday celebrations. As you head out the door,  getting ready to see old friends, relatives, enemies, co-workers, and acquaintances, just remember my little card, and maybe make one for yourself…

DON’T BULLY YOURSELF

 

WHY DO YOU REALLY NEED AN AUDIENCE FOR RECORDINGS?

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Recently I was invited to attend a concert at a venue new to me.  It was a large space, well lit, with great acoustics, very warm and inviting–like sitting in an incredibly large living room, including plush leather chairs. I noticed there were a lot of microphones set up, and assumed they were making a recording of the evening–which is fine.

However, it seemed that the audience was not really included in the performance.  As a classical music performer, I know that it isn’t customary to speak to the audience during the concert.  In this case, they started with a selection of art songs sung in German, with neither a verbal explanation of the text nor printed concert notes. The audience never knew what the songs were about, nor when the songs ended–apart from the heavy sigh from the singer as she turned to the next page.  At the end of the fifteen minute set, the vocalist–who sang beautifully, I might add–closed all her songbooks, and gave the audience a quick nod, to let us know she was finished. 

Next the pianist played a selection of short pieces by a contemporary composer, who then rose from the audience himself, to do 3 more of his compositions.  To his credit, the composer did give us the names of each piece as he played them, but again, the audience sat there wondering what was going on, and hoping we would be able to guess when the pieces were over.  Overall, it was a puzzling and frustrating experience.

My first voice teacher told me that when you bow at a concert you are bending your head, as if you were allowing the audience to pat you on the head.  In this case, the audience felt like the performers flinched out of the way before we could touch them.

I learned in discussing the concert afterwards with one of the performers and the sound engineer that they had been trying to save editing time post concert, by having minimal clapping and speech between numbers as they made the recording.  OK, I understand what they were trying to do.  But I felt cheated.  The audience had expended time and effort and money to be there to support them, but they were shut out of the performance.  I don’t understand why they chose to have an audience at all.  They were making a studio recording, with the audience as decoration–but they didn’t take photos either, so the audience had no contribution to the process at all.  It was a great shame, because the performers really did a great job, and it would have been nice to be able to let them know it.

I once attended a concert at Carnegie Hall, where the guest artist announced sternly at the beginning of the concert that they were recording the evening for an album, and wanted the audience to keep absolutely still, and not cough or turn pages of the program during the pieces, because it would ruin the recording.  We all sat there in terror during the first piece, then the audience EXPLODED into fits of coughing when the conductor signaled they had finished. Some people rushed for the exits to escape….At intermission there was a mass exodus…Again, if they didn’t want an audience, why book a venue rather than a studio?  I suppose, the income from ticket sales is the reason, but I wouldn’t buy the album afterwards…

 

Just a thought….