Friday, August 27, 2010


Fractions - an interesting topic for me to write about here. And though it might sound a bit random, you'll soon see the relevance. Especially here. 
After dinner tonight, as the last of the strawberries in whipped cream with dark chocolate shavings (that Orit quickly threw together - bless her!) disappeared, the topic of fractions came up. Mathematical fractions we're talking about. Little man uses fractions in his vocabulary and did so again tonight, prompting the discussion. He said something to the effect of having "half of a square or three quarters of a triangle..." in regards to something or another, which of course all I remember of now is that it made us laugh. But, I wanted to get him to understand what it really meant. What a fraction really is besides the 4 that he already knows  (1/4, 1/2, 3/4 & 1) and uses properly, I might add. So while Orit and I stepped into and over each others attempts to come up with a proper visual aid in the lesson, the idea of what a fraction is in it's simplest form hit me after almost 39 years. One. Parts of one. Only need one sheet of paper. And unlike Orit's attempt with a messy aid... no cutting. Just folding. All in tact. So we have one sheet of paper. Torn out of a magazine, a random page, which later becomes part of the story in it's content (perfection!). Meticulously, as with Origami, fold paper in half. We get two sections that add up to make the one whole sheet. Simple, but the beginnings of a profound never ending concept. Starting with one-half sections or two halves. Fold again. Make the creases nice and noticeable and voilĂ , quarters. "Theo, what's next?"  All you educated adults can see where it's going. Little man deduces the pattern to eighths, sixteenths, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, & 1/256. The math was done all in the head, with a bit of back and forth trial and error, but man, that little head of his is sharp and has a real thing for numbers. Our visual aid, with every fold and re-fold (to make sure the crease is distinct) was opened to make sure the amount of sections match the math. Yes. And as we moved deeper and deeper into the process, Orit and I could see another moment of what I've described in the past as "the assimon fell!" Those not familiar with the Hebrew coin/word/expression, it means moment of clarity when something is just understood. Look further back into the blog if you want it's origin. Not everyone is able to turn an opportune moment into a lesson to a 6 and a half year old child, after dessert. This is where tonight, I succeeded in my small, but significant achievement. And besides the fact that today was mostly a day of chauffeuring with some other self satisfying/gratifying moments, this was the one that I found writable.
As for why it should be a topic of relevance other than a good story in-itself on the blog, with my writings, my work? My Theo-roids, that capture fragments throughout the whole of little man's life thus far? Or the make-up of the Progress Report in it's grid form of 12 single Theo-roids? Or in the single frames that make up a Polarama? Or a pinpointed image that is but one part of the story in a Wood piece? You see, fractions/fragments/sections/moments/images are much more than just the lesson of the evening. Fractions are thematic to my life and work. That little man gets it, and me, is priceless. So I say to myself, as Hilton Garden Inn seems to want me to know - WELL PLAYED.

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