5 Quick Things: February 2021

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy πŸ™‚

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy πŸ™‚

This time it’s the proper November update πŸ™‚

>Number One<

Math is Great, How We Teach Math…Not So Much

I have absolutely no idea how I found this fantastic paper on the reasons why math education is so ineffective and frustrating. It’s a paper that I suppose was published on the Mathematical Association of America’s website at some point or another but since I don’t just trawl around math sites on the regular I’m sure I saw this in a tweet or someone mentioned this paper off hand and I looked it up.

I had a very interesting path with math that left me completely baffled that anyone wouldn’t like it. I spent my first 10 years of schooling in specialty math programs, math competitions, and then, eventually high level math theory courses all of which did a great job of explaining to me why and how math functions but I realize this isn’t the usual experience one has with math. When I spent time as a teacher to elementary students I came to understand that most kids do not receive math with the wide eyed joy and exploration I was afforded and actually, it’s mostly the opposite. This paper outlines some of the problem and trouble points of the educational process and why math literacy is so difficult at every level in education.

>Number Two<

Midsommar is not a happy tale

I understand that the power of a meme is overwhelming and that memes cannot condense any of the complex nuances that ideas and language afford us, that’s a given. Recently though many movies have come out where any level of nuance seems to be lost on an audience searching to squeeze out only the hottest take from the most surface reading and you basically end up with the problem outlined in this article that asks you to check yourself about what the film you’re meme-ing about is really saying before reblogging that meme.

I would go even beyond this article that “good for her” concerns me because it is often the product of simply flipping the current power structure until we have women who subjugate men and then we, as a society, decide that is what progress is instead of moving beyond hierarchical power structures but we don’t have time to get into that!

>Number Three<

Anime is for Black People

I stopped watching anime pretty promptly after about age 20 [over a decade ago! yikes!] so I usually don’t watch “anime Youtube channels” no matter if they do deep dives and analysis or just fun topics and reviews but I did run across this video somehow and I the title was just broad enough that I decided to click on it and was blown away. I can’t decide if I like this video or his video on FLCL and masculinity more but they’re both worth a watch. The rest of the channel is other presenters who do the type of content that I personally don’t care for but maybe it’ll float your boat if you’re an anime fan looking for something a little deeper than reviews and reaction to anime.

>Number Four<

A Big White Room with a Pop of Color

Is there anything the internet loves more than saying bad things about millennials? I kid. This article isn’t exactly about how awful my generation is but it is about the cultural phenomenon where spaces designed and lived in during the lifetimes of millennials (not necessarily embraced by them or made by them but simply styles that have grown alongside them) tend to look quite similar and also quite bland. This design era has been particularly stark and industrial reaching heights that seem like they’re more transparently product than design. While I think we’re starting to encounter some cultural resistance to that style it might be here to stay for a while longer. What really stuck with me from this article is a feeling that I’ve felt when thinking about my future home and how I want it to look. And isn’t that just the most millennial phrase, to be heading into middle age sans property and just dreaming of a place I can minimally change.

If you simultaneously can’t afford any frills and can’t afford any failure, you end up with millennial design: crowd-pleasing, risk-averse, calling just enough attention to itself to make it clear that you tried.

>Number Five<

Free Movies!

Hey, did you know if you’re an American or you have access to an American library card (and a few select other places) you can watch movies for free on Kanopy! You only get 8 “credits” aka movies per month but it’s 100% free with your library card and they have tons of movies especially classic movies and many things that aren’t on Netflix. I’ve been able to watch a lot of older (40s/50s) films through this as well as some indies and harder to find documentaries. Just a great thing to know so I thought I’d share the love.

Alright folks, that’s it for this month, see you next month!

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