Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Simply Calculus
By Maria Kana Santos
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Sometimes, watching my daughters decipher over college Saxon Math problems; and just hearing them make sense of algebraic equations with ease, confounds the restricted prowess in me.
My eyebrows furrow at Jonny’s fractions and reducing portions to smaller equivalents. His quick-to-learn and get-on-with-it study habits only reveal my incapacitated power to further my studies in the world of numbers.
Homeschooling has its share of ups and downs. One of them is teaching Algebra.
To be able to brave through the tackling of the most obscure equations, my imploring knees to the Great Mathematician must first be in fervent operation. After all, with just a word, He had put the whole universe in perfect place and order.
Re-learning the basics is invigorating and uplifting too. One morning, I had to deal with my portion of the solution to the problem: to aid Johnny find an intelligible system; to analyse and strategize a system that should work. To find it though was most elusive. I was hard at thinking! And my son’s future career choice was at stake! The clock was ticking rapidly towards lunchbreak. But slowly, beyond doubt, we were advancing at a steady speed.
I guess, the mother’s heart in me ruled over. I wasn’t giving up. Here were five simple approaches to how I valiantly defied my trepidation pertaining to Maths: 1. Helped the best I could, 2. Be cheerful, 3. Took a deep breath: portrayed that I was in control –of myself, 4. Consulted my valuable teacher’s manual, 5. Make sure that Daddy was just within earshot; disposed to respond at my summons for deliverance.
My sons have acquired the term mathematical word, “infinity”. I don’t know how and from where. I suspect that they might have read about it somewhere in our library of antique books. But I cannot underestimate the probability that they might have learned “infinity” from a dusty Advanced Math Algebra neatly stacked in some crevice intended for that book. Given the benefit of the doubt, they might have gotten it from Isaac-Newton’s use of calculus. Rumours tell me: Daddy contributed this endless word to their vocabulary.
If my memory hasn’t failed me, my Grade five definition of it was, “Never ends.” Right now, upon writing this article, I have humbly consulted Word Research: to update myself on proper ethics of writing. Therefore, my success with Word Search yielded dividends, at least to my simple satisfaction. It says that infinity means, “Perpetuity; time without end; eternity.” I have resolved to be content with my mental limitations; “Never ends” suits me just fine.
Just the other night at our sporadic “Daddy and Mommy time alone”, courage beckoned me to admit my ignorance. I asked my husband what sort of term was “infinity”.
“Is it Scientific? Is it Spiritual? Or is it simply Calculus?”
My guess was right. It was an exhilarating breakthrough for me!
Since the conception of its usage, “infinity’ has acquired its valuable corner in the many phases of our home. It hasn’t worn out its use and function to whom and what it is intended for.
For instance, each time food is laid on our ten-seater, rustic, heavy duty messmate dining table; my sons often rate my cooking: “Infinity out of infinity, Mom!” Even the little ones, Timmy 2, and Katie, 5, copy to “please Mommy.” My English inclinations to correct with, “use-proper-adjectives, dear” just simply amounts to “infinite” gratitude of,” Oh thank you, children, I’m very glad you like my yummy, scrummy food every time!!
Tod, 8, and I exchange hand signals. Three squeezes mean, “I love you”. But his little boyish hand would squeeze my skinny hand, five fingers and all; as hard as he could several times. “I love you Mommy, infinity out of infinity.”
If stones of calculus were still of use today, its mathematical function could never logically, methodically, symbolically, and all of the –cally’s combined, explain the LOVE OVERFLOWING from a mother to her child, and a child to his mother.
There is one encompassing, better LOVE: It is the high cost of the FREE GIFT from GOD above. It is the perfect love that came down from glorious Heaven to be with humanity. GOD has begun it, and perfected it at the cross of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ.
It’s a call to come and surrender to the never ending merciful love of GOD.
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