Basic Calc

May 6, 2020

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their kid’s knowledge — really, their overall brain power — surpasses our own. That happened long, LONG ago with Peter… his brain cells on a meteoric rise, ours on a feeble, steep decline. As it should be. He runs circles around us (well, I’ll speak for myself), easily grasping and trying to explain math and physics to us (me) and it’s like trying to filter water through a block of steel.  It goes nowhere. Of course. He’s smack dab in the middle of a university education, learning and studying all the time.. and we’re.. uh.. very much not.

Yay for that. Yay for time and tuition well spent.

A couple of days ago, he sent us a paper he’d written. It’s about calculus. He wrote it because he’d been tutoring a high school girl in math — calculus — and thought he’d try and summarize some key concepts in a one-sheet that she could use as a reference. It turned into 10 pages and he was pretty pleased with it.  It’s informally written because he wanted it to feel conversational and accessible… and yet… it’s all mathy.

Here’s the intro:


And a couple of random snips from the pages I read, some of which I absorbed, some not. (The good news is that I was reading this while lying in the hammock in shorts, and the temperature was probably about 90 degrees with a light breeze, so no matter what I was reading, it was sublime.)


No? Well maybe this, then:


I did have some input.. mostly grammatical.. (never mind that I misspelled acceleration) but it was fun to get a little bit of math on..


It took me about an hour to get through the first 4 pages (with small dozes here and there).  I hope to finish it tomorrow. We talked with Peter tonight and I think that will make the second half perhaps a little easier to understand.. we’ll see.

(Note: I wrote this on May 7, but am filling in a missing entry for May 6..  not that anyone will notice or care.. but.. you know.)







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