Feb. 20th, 2016

ysobel: (Default)
Elsesite, someone linked to an article on aphantasia, the inability to visualise mental images, and my mind screeched to a flaily halt because

a) there's a word for this, and

b) that means some people *can* literally see things? what?

Seriously, I can’t visualize anything -- so eg I can’t remember faces (I recognize people when I see them but I can’t pull up a mental picture even of people I know well and have seen recently) -- and I know eg that the tree outside my window has a brown textured trunk but if I’m not looking at it I can’t really see/remember the exact shade of brown or the specifics of the texture or the shape of the branches or what the leaves look like -- and I remember when I was a kid reading a book where someone was teaching a budding telepath how to build a mental wall by visualizing a brick and then visualizing more bricks until they had built a wall, and I thought that being able to close your eyes and actually see a brick was more unrealistic than the telepathy, because I mean of course everyone knows bricks are rectangular and sort of brick red and whatever but actually seeing one in your head was impossible.

Except this is actually a thing? Other people can see things in their imagination, not just vaguely understand the basic features? And I’m not normal for not being able to but also not alone? Whoah.
ysobel: (Default)
My high school math teacher (and one of my favorite teachers ever) has passed away.

The fuck-cancer aspect of this is milder than sometimes; at 88 (87?) this is not as unfair-feeling as some deaths, though on the other hand 88 feels a lot younger now than 68 did when I was twenty years younger and in high school.

I was lucky enough to have her for not one but two classes. I can't remember what I had her for first -- not geometry because that was clueless mysogynist guy; not trig because I did that as summer study so I could do calculus my junior year rather than senior; maybe precalc if that's a thing? -- but whatever it was, an announcement in that class led me to PROMYS, the summer number theory camp I went to. She was also in charge of administering the CaMeLs (California mathematics league, aka optional extracurricular math that I found fun because did I mention I was a math geek omg.

And then there was calculus, which was where I truly adored her. It was faster paced calculus -- AP Calculus BC, for those of you that know the difference between BC and AB -- and there was a parallel slower (AB) track scheduled for the same time that more than half the class dropped back to. But I thrived.

She was not an easy teacher but a good one, and fair, not arbitrary or tyrannical. She was also fiercely in favor of girls engaging in math. And did I mention I adored her?

This death does not hit me as hard as some; I didn't maintain much of a relationship with her besides saying hi at concerts. But after twenty years I still remember her name, which says something, and she still remembered mine, which says another thing.

She lived her life well, and made quite an impact, and she will be missed.

I also do think that she would have loved tonight's concert -- classical music, Schumann and Mozart and tschaikovsky, played well and enjoyably.

*raises glass of wine to her memory*

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ysobel: (Default)
masquerading as a man with a reason

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