~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ sierpenski’s rubik’s tetrahedron

~covering 10-23-18 to 11-23-18~

social learning

the first middle school dance!

he was so quull. he decided to wear his owl jacket with jeans and sneakers. legolas went with another friend, and quinn was hoping aragorn and gimli would go, but they didn’t. he ended up hanging out with two other boys who were into dancing, and “by the end of the night, i knew how to dance!” he stayed on the dance floor all night. i asked if he did the escape room and he said no, he just danced. the only money he spent was $1 for a bottle of water so he must really have been dancing!

he said hi to the girl he likes, but they didn’t hang out or dance. his last minute questions in the car going over “what if she asks me to dance” were priceless.

legolas invited the fellowship to his birthday party. quinn’s card making involved sharpies, his four color pen, and google image searches of yu-gi-oh characters. at the party, they played laser tag!


we had aragorn over for a day. they played shogi chess, yu-gi-oh, and star wars monopoly. by 1:45 when we were supposed to take them both over to his house for the evening, they had just ventured outside to do some shelter/fortress building, so we extended the visit to accommodate more outside time. quinn is amazing with a hatchet, and i like it when he has others around who help anchor him outdoors, long enough to swing one around a bit.

school learning

we had conferences this month and met with every teacher. his math teacher was enthusiastic about his dramatic “improvement” and it was nice for quinn to hear it from her. we met all the other teachers as well: tag, spanish, social studies, homeroom, p.e., language arts, science, and band.

tag is held every other week, and they’ll go on field trips, so it has been my “in” as far as volunteering, not just because i sell organic veggies to the teacher. i think since it is his break period on normal days that he has to give up, he is happy for any help.  apparently the rest of the tag kids are as forgetful as quinn, so quinn (whose mama had set a loud phone alarm to remind him about it) was the first kid to show up the day i started volunteering. he “complained” about the alarm with a big grin on his face. it was nice to see him and he wanted me to be his cribbage partner. the class was small, around 12 kids total. it’s a cool classroom full of tools and projects and stuff, this teacher teaches all the “STEM” classes such as engineering and robotics as well.

games, puzzles, and fizzbuzzes

we are doing lots of logic puzzles, often in the evening after dinner. anagrams have been a recent pastime as well.

vi hart’s latest project was called 50 fizzbuzzes, a panel of 50 python programs, variations on a script to write fizz for every multiple of 3 and buzz for every multiple of 5, and we were both intrigued. once he found out that version #48 was a “FIZZ DUNGEON GAME” he played all the way to the conclusion of the game (101).

her reasoning behind writing the program 50 times was to truly explore all the facets of learning python that she could, eliminating assumptions and challenging her thinking along the way. many of the results turned out to be very creative. quinn and i both especially loved version #42 which prints beebs and froods instead of fizzes and buzzes, and for 42 prints ******DON’T PANIC******

it was a learning experience for us as well, as we have never worked in python either, but in order to run the scripts, we had to install a python interface to work in, and it was neat to see both the code she had written and the working programs, side by side. i liked that not all of the programs worked flawlessly, all good things for my young perfectionist to observe of his hero.

he stated that he wants to create a set of cards on graph paper (a project he has started in many forms – spinoff games on pokemon or magic the gathering) “but this time i want to really follow through on it.” i thought that was a very interesting observation for quinn to make, knowing how much of my life i have spent as a project creator/not necessarily finisher. i would not be surprised if his own project motivations are ultimately what inspires him to come to grips with time management.

he made a game from legos, including separate playing boards for two people, but explained to me “this is only a prototype of the game.” we played a few rousing games of yu-gi-oh. we had a fun discussion about rubik’s cubes in which he thought of a cool way to make sierpenski’s triangle into sierpenski’s tetrahedron. and then we thought of sierpenski’s rubik’s tetrahedron and had a geek session of doodling ideas on paper of how it would work.

he still needs a ton of prompting to get his homework done, and then to hand it in, and then to retake tests, or follow up on finishing them when he doesn’t finish them in the allotted time, or freaks out and decides he can’t do them on test day. in outside-of-school math, however, he is finished reading life of fred geometry and is ready for me to order him trigonometry.

the other kind of pi

the morning after he finished the geometry text he told me, “i had a dream that you me and dada and my sister who was my twin, were going home to the barn. but we didn’t have a car, so we were walking along a cliff edge, and me and my sister fell off. and then my sister and i made it to shelter but then we got separated. then we found each other, and the dream ended.”

the main source of material for the dream, i knew, had been the life of fred geometry book, in which part of the plot (spoiler alert) is that fred falls in love with P, and then in the end it turns out that P is his long lost twin sister. it made me want to read the whole series now to get the back story of fred!

i asked if he knew where the rest of it came from, and he said, “i don’t know because that’s never happened before, it’s always either me and dada, or me and you” and i said, “well, when you were very little all three of us were together, but even though that couldn’t continue, i think it’s really normal for a kid whose parents aren’t together to always wish for a way it could be. and sometimes when you dream and you’re not in control of your thoughts, things that are a deeper part of you can come up that you didn’t realize you had thoughts about.” i think he appreciated that validation.

he said his twin looked a lot like one of the characters from yu-gi-oh named ishizu.

he is using the duo lingo app to learn italian, inspired by signing up to go to italy in just over a year, and i caught this audio of him saying “butterflies are insects” in italian:

on thanksgiving day, i caught him mouthing the words to rock me mama like a wagon wheel through mouthfuls of pancakes when rich put it on the stereo and started building a fire. quinn helped by making personal pies, and eating 3 pumpkins, 2 pecans, and an apple before heading off to his dad’s.

1 comment to ~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ sierpenski’s rubik’s tetrahedron

  • Camp boss\ wedding boss

    Growing up fast!!!We like to sing aloud to Rock me mama like a wagon wheel at our house too…..And I know you’re appreciation for our dance parties!! 😉

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