“cinnamon, cardamom and ginger” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, November 26, 2018
7:18am
5 minutes
A recipe for apple muffins

Baking helps me understand why some people like math. You buy good ingredients, you measure these ingredients, you preheat the oven, you stir, you blend, you incorporate, you get to the bottom of the bowl, maybe you even try to save on a few unnecessary steps or dishes, but that’s it, nothing more. The recipe is the container and it holds you. Follow it, and you’re (almost) guaranteed to have a house that smells good and something delicious. There aren’t variables in math (or, are there?!) and there are variables in baking, but not big ones.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“Well, God is perfectly fair.” By Julia on the bus to Can Tho

Tuesday January 23, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
Institutional
Tamas Dobozy

Middle child=fairness and unfairness
=justice=judge

When god isn’t fair the middle child feels it. In her toenails. In her tears.
All this adding up does not equal the right sum.
Someone miscalculated.
Someone forgot to check the math. God is supposed to be good at math.
One good for you one good for me one bad for you one bad for me.
And if my turn comes today yours will be tomorrow. Yours will come and mine will come and faith and trust and acceptance and patience.
God doesn’t play favourites with disaster. That’s the rule. But what if it comes and it’s not fair? That’s the rule too. How does the middle child handle all these mismatched moments. How does god give back after all the taking.
Let’s take a bite until it’s gone. The middle child understands fractions. How to ration. How to make sure there is enough for everyone for as long as possible. You want the middle child on the boat when trouble finds you. You want the one who knows how to be fair.

“One of the biggest challenges of learning” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 9, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, June 9, 2016


Of course Freddie was trying to hide her smile, she didn’t need Mitchell to see his math tutor also not taking him seriously. He was telling her about his day and the traumatic experience of Ashley and Ashley tricking him into sliding a penny down the centre of his face during the lesson with manipulatives. They told him if a line appears on his skin it means he’s deficient in iron. Mitchell didn’t want to be deficient in anything in front of the Ashleys but he rolled the penny and sure enough, it produced one tiny grey line. He told Freddie how they snickered and caused such a commotion that everyone came to look. All day, apparently, Mitchell had tried to convince everyone to do the same. He didn’t know they had coloured in the penny with pencil.

“you may feel strong emotion” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 27, 2016
3:55pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


You may feel strong emotions approaching a budget
When the numbers on the page are bigger than you’ve ever seen in a bank account
When the commas and the decimals won’t add up
When there are too much items and too few revenue opportunities
You may feel strong emotions that carry you back to grade school and not being able to get the seven times table past 28
Carry you back to math tutoring in the computer lab with the mock turtleneck wearing teacher
Carry you back to wishing you could bring yourself to cheat because you need that scholarship you really need that scholarship
What would you have thought you could do if it weren’t for these nasty numbers too straight too clear to little room for flexibility
The satisfaction of subtraction and addition isn’t lost on you but
in all the space in between
you fall

“The professional sailors” by Sasha on her couch


Monday September 15, 2014 at Ozu
9:42pm
5 minutes
from http://www.capri.net

I’m trying to be honest about the things that I’m not good at. I want to get better. I want to be better, I’m trying. I’m trying to be honest and I’m trying to be better, and I’m trying to stop repeating myself so much.
I’m not good at having forty dollars of gelato in the freezer. I just want to eat it. But, like, I love it, so I don’t want to tell you not to bring it home because that means no one wins…
I’m not good at math.
I’m not good at actually reading the “Classics”.
I’m not good at jealousy.
I’m not good at being sick. I’m a huge baby. I whine. I degrade myself by reading People magazine online and watching romantic comedies on Netflix.
I’m not good at communicating when my heart is in my throat and you’re there, with your eyes like deep pools of knowing, with your direct way, with your face, that face.
I’m not good in boats. I’ll puke or cry or both.

“skill testing question required” by Julia at her kitchen table


Friday April 4, 2014
2:42pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I was thinking about it all morning. It was a stupid math one, and I should have gotten it right with ease. Ease. I was good at math up until, what, grade five? Fucking graphs, you know? And ever since then it’s been downhill. I used to win fucking awards for my math. Like class-room accolades and shit. I used to get those lollipops. You know? We’d play around the world with our times tables, and I’d beat every single kid in my class, even the smart ones, and then I’d get a lollipop. I used to win so many times I could have opened a tuck shop at my desk and made 25 cents on each kid. See. Math. It’s all confidence anyway. Did you know that? I mean, sure, reading takes confidence, and whatever, Art. But math. It’s a skill you develop just by being confident enough to develop it. You have one bad teacher tell you you’re worth even a little less than you are, and you just learn to believe that crap. It’s one of those things that keeps coming back to bite you in the ass too. You know, taxes, and leaving tips, and getting the right change back from the damn Wal-mart clerk. Did she even finish high school? I don’t know. Does she assume I’m good at math because most people are at least able to calculate the simple stuff in their heads, and therefore this clerk works harder to be good herself so she doesn’t look like she’s trying to dupe a smart math guy? I don’t know. Maybe she thinks that because she’s bad at math, then I must also be bad at math.
Could have won a fucking car today. Fucking math.

“LESS ORDINARY” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday December 14, 2013
3:46pm
5 minutes
Guinness Black Lager streetcar ad

Oh yeah I’d definitely define him as a curve ball? Sort of just your crazy man but without looking like that on the outside? Less ordinary than most people in his category and I’m sure I’ve seen my fair share of them. I think I noticed it first when he came over to my house to help Rodney with his math homework? He brought over a baseball glove and bat and the two of them played outside for hours. Rodney aced his test but I don’t remember them studying at all. I guess he has a way with explaining? Sort of never cared to question it further, cause we was seeing results and that’s all that mattered to Al and me. I think, no, I wouldn’t necessarily call him strange although he didn’t act like I ever expected. Strange sort of has a negative connotation and that’s not the kind of label I’m trying to give him. But different, maybe. Definitely special if you want to make sure he knows that I’m on his side? I never once worried when he’d spend time with Rodney. I think he liked being around kids cause they never judged him or nothin. They just sort of, let him be was all.

“the railway that connects our country” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday November 30, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
9:07pm
5 minutes
the Local Heroes calendar

Marley has never been on a train. She doesn’t understand simple concepts like “math” or “travel”. She does this thing where she sums up life just like that. Categorizing things in a vague fashion without recognizing how much more goes into it. She tells herself that “the future” is full of pain and that her “feelings” are wrong. Marley started doing this when she was very young. It might have even started as a joke but who knows when the fun of the whole thing ended. Marley is no longer making a joke, but a life comment. An observation of herself that she deems non-disputable. She considers these things to be “facts” and “truths” and “things people notice about her, but just don’t say out loud.” Marley isn’t trying to perpetuate those ideas. She just believes them now because it’s been too long that she’s felt like she didn’t have any other choice.

“Become a doctor.” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 15, 2013
12:41am
5 minutes
http://www.stumbleupon.com

Knew this guy from high school. He said he always wanted to become a doctor, or a medic, or something like that. I never saw the use in science classes or math. I assumed I would never be anything close to smart since I didn’t care about anything that proved one was. This guy I’m talking about, we used to have these debates. Mostly about God, and philosophy, funnily enough. We competed for grades but we were in completely separate systems. How could calculus ever be a thing to compete with Lit? It couldn’t. And yet, somehow, he was convinced that I was going to be a problem for him. Like I said, I never expected to become someone you’d associate with smart. I should mention now, I guess, that I am in fact a doctor. The guy from high school? He’s the manager of a Danier Leather and he hates his life. I hated math and science, and then one day, I just decided I didn’t want to hate them anymore. It sounds over simplified, but if you knew me you’d understand. I just get it. I get a lot of stuff so it just depends on what I want to get. Then it’ll be good. I love my practice, truly. I can’t picture myself doing anything else now. Back then the only thing I thought I was going to be was a bright pregnant teenager who taught her future children about bad choices.