What she Wore: White polo with green edging on the collar and cuffs, baggy jean capris, khaki slides with green bows and an espadrille heel.
This week I’m going to a class on better teaching math. I went to school to be an English teacher, so I thought I’d take advantage of these types of opportunities. It’s a $400 class, but I get to go for free since the they’re using my school’s building.
One of the exercises was a classic math puzzle. On the first day you have one grain of rice, the next day you double it, the following day you double it again. The question was–how many grains of rice do you have on day thirty-two? What about day sixty-four? Do you think you’ll reach a million?
Some teachers immediately set in carefully multiplying by two on their caculators. As an Algebra teacher, however, I knew that there was a formula for this very problem–only I couldn’t remember it. One of my colleagues and I sat there scribbling away trying to figure out the pattern. We tried this and that, but were unable to come up with the formula. We fooled with the base number–we fooled with the exponent–we still did not find the answer. After about ten minutes had passed, the moderator gave each group a piece of paper, and asked us to write about our process. I wrote in large letters, "We became frustrated." Two other groups got the answer.
It was good for me to be in that position. It’s very hard to remember those days, sitting in a math class, having no idea what was going on. I emerged with a good lesson about not forgetting those days before I had all the answers provided to me. I got to be a frustrated student for a short while–and I HATED IT!
I know you really want to know what that formula was, so here it is: 2 n-1 Where n=the day