Maths and Reading live together amicably in the library. I would say there is not a second when Maths is not happening in the library – there is always the individual student or a pair or a group of students who keep the Maths Continuum going like a pilot light. At The Whiteboard of Ever-Changing Mental Activity there is a strong predilection for Maths. We watch this activity like proud parents but keep a safe distance as we would from a conversation in a foreign language. Occasionally we are drawn into the mathematical computation and find ourselves being explained to. Which is amusing (for me, at least) because I don’t have the vaguest idea what the maths is about and yet students often endeavour wholeheartedly to enlighten us. We love their passion. We stand there, nodding, smiling, hoping that this is enough gratitude for our Mathematical Muses.
For example, this was added to The Whiteboard by a student.
And then, throughout the day, over the week, one student, two students, a group of students would gather to stare, stroking their chins, nodding or engaging in Mathematical Discourse. Two students attempted to explain it to me, and I almost believed that I understood it – for a split second (I know, not very precise…)
Do these Boards play a larger part in our students’ Personal Identity than we think? There is a noticeable degree of pride exhibited by the student who has shared the mathematical computation on The Whiteboard. I refer to Big Bang Theory for an example.
As much as I appreciate our students trying to explain the maths to me, sadly it reminds me of the Big Bang Theory episode when Sheldon tries to explain the history of Physics to Penny.