Sunday, April 03, 2011

“Infinity is the God of Numbers”

So my 7 year old Sidd and 8 year old Paul have been in hot pursuit of superlatives for several months.  One that has left Paul particularly spellbound was my answer to “what’s the biggest number?” - - The notion of infinity has resulted in numerous follow-up questions.

Finally he came up to me and said, “you know dad, I‘ve been thinking and since God is everything, and infinity is the biggest number, infinity is the God of numbers and zero is the devil.”

When asked where zero fit in, he indicated, “see infinity is trying to make you the biggest number, and zero is trying to make you into nothing.  So zero is the opposite of infinity so it’s the devil of numbers.”

I then explained negative numbers and asked where they fit in.  He came back in an hour, “Okay so BOTH positive AND negative infinity are the Gods of numbers, and zero is still the devil.”

I do hope he keeps this abstract way of looking at things, and that I can help remove whatever may obstruct such thinking.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Unwavering Focus

Some pursuits naturally draw us into focus, and are a natural source of exhiliration.  Consider Sidd and soccer.  It is a daily ritual at school during lunch, rain or shine.  And when he runs onto the field for a game, he literally prances around like a bucking bronco. 

Below is a shot sequence from the last game of his 2010 season.  The other team was an all-Latino set of 1st graders who were already well schooled on both the basics and more advanced nuances like double teaming and a liberal amount of pushing and shoving.  An early view into what is to come in later years.

The images show the way opportunity is identified, and in this case, relentlessly pursued in the face of opposition.  His eyes are locked on the goal even as the defense takes him down in the final frame.  The book "
Bringing up Geeks" calls out the importance of focusing kids on everything BUT winning and losing: all those other elements are what one truly will gain from playing sports (like the camaraderie, the collective encouragement, the need for a LOT of preparation, the luck that is sprinkled in all endeavors, and the discipline and tenacity one builds).

Fast Break… Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2010 (click for larger image)

The Defense Closes In… Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2010 (click for larger image)

Squeeze Play… Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2010 (click for larger image)

Keeping Focus… Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2010 (click for larger image)

Watching the Ball As You Go Dooowwwnnnn… Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2010 (click for larger image)