Friday, August 6, 2010

Sexy Math

Sometimes I feel like I should have named this blog "Running-Reading Foodie" or something like that because so often I just want to talk about books!

While driving all over the freaking Bay Area this morning, I heard the coolest interview on NPR that I just have to share with you. Did any of you watch The Wonder Years when you were a kid? Remember Winnie Cooper?

Did you know she wrote a book? Actually, she's written three books. About MATH! Back in 2007, when she published her first book, Math Doesn't Suck, Danica McKeller said, 
"When girls see the antics of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they think that being fun and glamorous also means being dumb and irresponsible, but I want to show them that being smart is cool. Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life." [source]
How cool is that? In addition to being an actress, Danica is an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. Her books (Math Doesn't Suck, Kiss My Math, and Hot X), Danica "gives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more" [source].

I could have used these books when I was a kid! I was horrible at math! Did you know that until I was in high school, I thought I would be a doctor? And then I had to take algebra 2 and realized that I would never be a doctor because I couldn't do math (and I liked talking about books a lot more than I liked talking about biology)!

You can listen to Danica's NPR interview here

Before I wanted to be a doctor though, my very first professional aspiration was to be a writer. I started reading at a pretty early age and have been pretty much obsessed with words for my entire life. I wrote a lot when I was a kid. I was always working on a short story or a poem. I journaled constantly. I wanted to be a published author so badly.

For a long time, I tried to write "the great American novel" and then I realized what I really wanted to write were young adult novels. I mean, I read a ton of them, mostly so I know what to recommend to my students. And believe me, a lot of them really stink. I could probably write an entire book about how not to write young adult novels.

All this to say, I've decided to finally start taking myself seriously. I've always used the excuse, "I don't think I have a novel in me," but I kind of think that's a whole lot of crap. The truth is, I have a hard time finding (or giving myself) the time to get my novel out of me. But I think I'm going to try. Let this be the year of the novel!

I think a lot of us have aspirations that we put on the back burner for one reason or another. Maybe life takes us in a different direction or maybe we think we aren't good enough to do the great things we dream about. But if no one ever took risks or attempted great things, how would awesome things ever happen?

What is your deep life aspiration? Are you allowing yourself to attain it or has life gotten in the way? Have you already attained it (how exciting!)?