Friday, August 26, 2011

Why you may or may not be a math zombie.

Welcome, oh adventurous reader, to the first post of my new blog! 

It is currently 10:53 on the Friday before my summer break is officially over. The kids are asleep. A big fat tabby cat is purring contentedly in my lap. My empty bottle of Lipton diet citrus green tea is staring at me conspiratorially from across the desk, as is the half-eaten bag of peanut M&M's that my son got for his birthday. I can hear the naughty voice in the back of my head whispering again... "Just one more (caffeinated) tea, it's only 10:30! Think of how much more you can get done while they sleep! Go ahead and pop a couple of those peanut M&M's into your mouth, Ethan will never notice the difference!" Okaaay, maybe just a few. And what would another tea hurt... I can always nap tomorrow! Or do laundry... or catch up on the dishes... or weed the garden... or get ahead on school work! Oh, you get the idea.

So the big question for this overzealous, underpaid, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar young math teacher, wife, and mother of two young boys is, WHY IN GOD'S NAME START A BLOG? Don't you have enough to do? Why don't you go play with your kids? Don't you have any hobbies? Spend some time with that husband! GO TO BED! But that same annoying voice in my head convinced me to crack another Lipton just now, and it's telling me to hurry up and say what I've got to say so that maybe I CAN turn my brain off and get some sleep. I don't know if anyone besides myself will want to read this, but maybe someone else out in computer land can relate, or can laugh at me, or can laugh with me. Maybe I can help someone. Maybe I can change the world, one crazy zombie math teacher at a time! Ha!

So you're probably wanting a little background about the name of this blog. It fits me and my career on so many levels. First, obviously, getting no sleep makes me LOOK like a zombie. Or a vampire. Didn't we learn anything about sleepless nights and black circles under eyes from Edward and the Cullen clan? I like to joke with my students about my cold hands, and to keep their paper cuts far away from me, and of course that's why I never sleep! But I diverge. Back to zombies... we've all had math teachers who acted like zombies; rattling on and on in a monotone like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, making us take page after page of boring notes, assigning worksheet after worksheet of drill-and-practice problems, forcing us to complete the even book problems since the odd answers were given in the back. That is the literal, negative zombie comparison, but not the one that I want anyone to remember.  

My working definition of a Math Zombie, is to have a weird obsession with all things math, that grows and festers if not satisfied and challenged. Math is a living thing that cannot be confined to the classroom walls, to pencils and paper and rulers. A real Math Zombie breaks out of the traditional mold, in "Thriller" fashion, infecting the digital world, music, movement, sports, art, and any other medium in which they can spread math out into the real world. "It's ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE!" And... I also think that I come up with the craziest, most zombie-like ideas late at night, when I am dead-tired and totally uninhibited by logic or reason. So if you've made it this far, and it made any sense to you, keep reading my blog! You may be a zombie too.

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