Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seven Things.............

Seven Things You Don’t Really Need To Know About Me!
(You can click on the images at the top for a more detailed and spectacular view of these rare artifacts! The ones that are embedded do not show all the available glorious details.)

Well, there was this time when I had to have Mrs. Shannon come rescue DA at the ER at 12:00 midnight, because I had a kidney stone! Oh, I already emailed that huh?

Well then, there was this fall from my road bike that peeled me like a tater! Oh yeah, I emailed and sent pictures.

OK, I’ve got it. When I was born, I cost exactly $196.80, and I can prove it!

Now, if you knew that, you must work for the CIA or something.

Keeping things chronologically oriented, I have always been better at math than I was at more cultured things like the fine arts, and again, I can prove it.

Thanks to my dear old mom’s careful interrogation and subsequent documentation, I know that the picture (both are from first grade) contains one black bear, one deer under a tree, one raccoon hiding in a hole in a log, one bunny, one bird flying someplace, and a partridge in a pear tree! You try and figure it out.

I have never acted in a play unlike Ms. Lipsky, but my family did kind of resemble a TV family that traveled on a big groovy bus, and again, I have the evidence!

Hyde Grove Elementary Patrol Boy on the loose!
Nice Lamb-Chops Pops!

I often spent part of the summer with my grand mom and granddad in Vidalia, Georgia. They had the biggest house in town, and granddad always had the latest Caddy, except for the time that he bought a Rolls Royce! They were pure southern gentry right down to their bigoted cores. Granddad built almost all of the roads in S.E. GA. (well, he owned the company, but his job seemed to be riding around in his 30 foot long land-yacht checking on the crew and admiring or criticizing their work). Grand mom stayed home, made homemade candies, crocheted quilts, told the maids what to do, played bridge, played the stock market and counted her money. Being the son of a preacher man that marched with Dr. King, opened the first integrated church in Montgomery, Alabama, and started an integrated summer camp in Pensacola, Florida, I did my dead-level best to set my grandparents on the right path. When I was seven, I asked my grand mom why the very nice maid was not eating lunch with us; after all, she made the lunch. I got the stare and then was told that “the help” eats on the back porch. Without a word, I got up with my food and started to stroll away from the table. Grand mom asked where I was headed. Needless to say, I had a very nice lunch on the porch. The scene of the crime is pictured below. The Chamber of Commerce used their house on their brochure cover.

Outlaw biker days! From 6 to 15-years-old, I do not remember a day that I did not ride a motorcycle. At 15, you were legally allowed to pilot a motorcycle that was “producing less than five brake horse power”. Somehow, I convinced my dad that my 120 MPH Honda cafĂ© racer only made 4-5 horsepower. He was not, and never will be, mechanically inclined! However, the joke would be on me as, on December 30, 1979 I left planet earth after my motorcycle rear-ended a turning car. I was taken to St. Vincent’s ER and “pronounced”—“called”—and about to be toe-tagged when an older ER nurse said that my vitals did not show due to a build up of fluid around my heart and in my lungs. She “bagged me” with a salt and ammonia mixture and saved my life. I spent the next five days in ICU. My folks say that I kept asking the same question over and over again, “Has the Gator Bowl started?” (that was the year that Clemson beat Ohio State and Woody Hayes punched Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman in the mouth ending Hayes career). I also complained about bugs running up and down my IV drip (there were no bugs). When I left the hospital, I had blurred vision for a while and I tended to repeat myself, I tended to repeat myself. I still love cycles, and I have owned about 20, but it took me 15 years to get on one after the wreck. I do not ride today, as the costs outweigh the benefits. My 15th birthday card was a bit prophetic?

Number VI: I really could run a 4.45 forty coming out of high school!

Final bit of totally useless knowledge: My whole family calls me by a different name than my CCE family. I was known to the world by my middle name, Rives, right up until I enrolled at UNF. It’s pronounced Reeeeevs. However, most of the time when people read my name it turned into Rivers, Riiiiiiiiiives, Rivas, Rico, boy with the blonde hair, or “did they misspell this?”. Being shy and unwanting of extra attention, I cringed every time I got a new teacher, because they would butcher my name and then argue that they were right, because “the silent e makes the vowel long”. Combine the middle name with the equally challenging last name, Ruark, and you simply cannot say them both without sounding like you have a mouth full of marbles. So finally, at UNF when a prof started to say “Ruh, uh Rii, uh Ria”, I broke in and said, “It’s Tom. Teee Ohhh M.” Oh, Ma Bell still can’t get with the program either. To wit,


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Polygon Attributes and Names

One of the most important concepts in studying two-dimensional geometry centers on classification of polygons based on attributes. If you click on the picture, you will see two polygons. One has three sides and one has four sides.

Just counting the number of sides allows us to name the polygons (a triangle and a quadrilateral---If you said, in your head, "square" you are about five steps ahead so slow down :-} ).

Looking at the bottom of the page, notice that the student labeled the vertices (angles) of the polygons. This will allow that student to describe many more attributes of each polygon. In the triangle, line segment BC is congruent to line segment AB. A triangle with at least two congruent line segments is an isosceles triangle. Also, the student should note that angle ABC measures 90 degrees, a right angle. So, this triangle can also be called a right triangle. Putting both attributes together, we get an isosceles right triangle! None of this is possible without close examination of the sides and angles.

In the quadrilateral, please note that the opposites sides are parallel and congruent. This makes our quad a parallelogram. If you notice that all sides are congruent, our parallelogram also becomes a rhombus. If you notice that this parallelogram has four 90 degree angles, then our parallelogram becomes a rectangle. If you notice that our parallelogram has all congruent angles and sides, then we have a regular polygon called a square!

Students are often asked to classify polygons from "least restrictive" name to "most restrictive" name. For our quadrilateral names would include (in order):
(rectangle and rhombus could be flip-flopped)

If students were asked to provide attributes of our quadrilateral, they may state:
Our quad has four 90 degree angles
Our quad has opposite sides that are parallel
Our quad has opposite sides that are congruent
Our quad has four lines of symmetry
Our quad has perpendicular line segments...

Please remember that attributes lead to names; they are not the same.