Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jiggety Jog – Erich

Some say thirteen is an unlucky number. I've never personally agreed with that. I mean, it's prime. How bad could it be?

There's a story about Richard Courant, he was a great mathematician. He was the founder of an institute at New York University, and they were building a new structure, Warren Weaver Hall, on campus for it. The plans called for the building to have this huge lounge on the top floor for faculty and graduate students to hang and have activities. And that top floor was the thirteenth.

Well, Courant was looking over the plans for the building and saw that they called for that top floor to be called the fourteenth floor. He went to the architect with a demand: "This is going to be an institute of mathematics! We are not skipping the number thirteen!"

For me, thirteen has treated me well. And today is no exception. Today we are flying to Bogotá, Colombia. But it comes at the end of a thirteen day return to the U.S.A.

Carver needed to take some AP exams, which occur in May. Last year he needed to do so as well. We managed to find a school outside of Istanbul, Turkey where he could take them. This year, we figured we would simplify the process. We would just hit the United States before heading to South America and he could take them there.

There's an irony in the fact that it is much easier to organize the taking of American tests in Turkey then in the U.S. Bureaucrats! Thankfully our friend Tamara got on the phone and made things happen.

We wondered about returning to the United States. And in many ways it was weird.
See, you gotta admit, America's weird.
There were good weirdnesses, like people generally following the rules of the road.
BB8 made from legos? Okay, weird in cool ways at times.
There were bad weirdnesses like the high price of internet and prepaid SIM cards, very much in opposition to pretty much everywhere else. But we did speak the language, and that certainly helps.

We stayed with my parents and it was wonderful to see them. I even got to see my mother on Mother's Day, which is not something that has occurred in many years. Even when I lived in the U.S., I was in Pennsylvania and my parents were in Florida. It wasn't a quick jaunt over for a Mother's Day lunch.

We visited Tamara and her family. There we experienced "the world's best Thai food" and "the world's best pizza." So claimed the advertising. Though, I think I may have experienced better than each of those elsewhere in the world: Thailand and Vietnam, respectively. (Thailand you expected, right?)

We also headed to Ft. Myers Beach. This is where Alrica grew up. Here we met up with Aunt Adana and Uncle Don. Alrica and Adana got to drive around town and visit Memoli Lane. (Yes, of course they were visiting Memory Lane, but we really did drive down a street called Memoli Lane.)
Grandma Fawn got to talk to all three of her kids (and three grandkids) for Mother's Day.
Aunt Adana took the kids sailing. And we all had some good time for fishing. You can see our mighty catches, none of which was a "keeper".
Syarra caught a catfish
Carver caught a catfish too.
Alrica caught a crevalle jack.
And I caught a lane snapper.
And now as we head away again, it is with a bit of sadness. However, this time it won't be so long until we return, and we return for good. Plus, it isn't nearly as scary anymore. We've done the international travel thing a few times.

The thirteen days treated us well. Let's treat it well back. Try to remember: thirteen is just a number. It needs your love too. As do fractions, but baby steps. We'll get there.

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