Usually i spend the first week and a half of class carefully choosing where i want to sit in class. Over the years i've come up with a list of guidelines that help to ensure i don't set into trouble when the teacher suddenly assigns "groupwork." However, this semester i've abandoned that plan entirely. For the first time, i have two classes back to back in the same room. There was no way to optimize my seating position for both classes so i adopted a new strategy. I've chosen to sit in a different desk each day. I feel like some sort of ethnomethodologist performing a norm breaking experiment. So far, no one has demanded that i give up their seat when i take it for the day.
On Monday, Dr Austin, a teacher of one of my two back-to-back classes, announced before his lecture that the first thirty seconds of class are like a live-action version of Where's Waldo. I'm not sure quite how to take that because he followed up with his feeling on the Where's Waldo game: "You spend ten minutes finding Waldo and that's it; you're done. That's ten minutes of your life you can never get back."
Every Friday from 3-4 the Grand Valley Math Department holds a "problem solving seminar." Really its just a small group of math students that gets together to work on tough problems from old copies of national and local math competitions. Sometime we go the whole hour without solving a thing. Most of the time we still end up talking about interesting math or at least trying several different intriguing yet ultimately unsuccessful attempts. Today i got one right which turned out to be from the Putnum which is usually one of the hardest test. I'll let you try it.
Proove (give a convincing argument) that given a sphere and five points on the surface of the sphere, four of those points must lie on the same closed hemisphere. That is, we can always find a hemisphere of the sphere that contains at least 4 of the 5 points.
My sister picked up a Wii this past weekend. I helped her and my mother break it in. I've seen plenty of videos on YouTube and whatnot of people playing the system and it looked so fun. I'm very glad that it's even more fun when you play it yourself. I absolutely love dancing to the music that plays after a victory in a Wii boxing match. The tennis is so convincing that i find myself getting my feet in proper position before making a swing. I believe Wii bowling is the first video game ever where my mother clearly defeated both my sister and me without us showing her any mercy. It's fun that we can all play together. Now we just need to track down more controllers. Those things are as scarce as the the system itself.
The other weekend was the premiere performance of Bed Breakfast and Beyond, a brand new improv team. It turns out that having shows during blizzards isn't such a great idea. Rather than cancel, we did perform for the brave souls who fought the weather to get to the theatre. Dann, Scott, and I, along with guidance from Joe Anderson, put together a show that combines elements of long-form and short-form improv in what we feel is a unique way. The show takes place in a bed and breakfast and the audience members are guests at the inn. The hotel is managed by three guys: Devon, Philip, and Chip (Dann, Scott, and myself respectively). Thought the show, we get to know the audience by direct interaction and activities. Each of the activities are kind of like more traditional improv games but we've tried to seamlessly integrate them into a central narrative.
We're really happy with how things turned out. We are already working on ways to tweak the format to make it even better. Our next shows are scheduled for March 23, 24 in Kalamazoo at a venue called Fire (warning: that page has a loud background sound. seriously, who does that anymore?).