Re Old Farts

Margaret Ball margaret at
Sat Dec 18 18:48:50 EST 2004

Dorian wrote

> It really feels quite odd to be one of a group of friends where I am 
> *not* one of the oldest! 

My sentiments exactly!

For a long time, due to having skipped some grades and stuff, I was 
always the youngest person in a group. (Af fifteen, pretending to be 
eighteen, I was hiding behind the grad students in the SF group that met 
at Scholtz's Beer Garden so the staff wouldn't have to take cognizance 
of my illegal presence). Then there was a looong period where 
work/writing/children/family problems precluded having anything 
resembling a social life.....and now that I'm poking my head up again, I 
feel like the Oldest Fart.

Day before yesterday our Katie gave her Final Presentation. This is a 
ceremony peculiar to her school wherein each student, upon completing 
the credits needed to graduate, reads an essay to a small group of 
friends, teachers, and counselors and the teachers read the letters of 
reference they are giving the kid.

Apart from being delirious with joy (She made it! She actually did it! 
She got through high school!!!!!) I was also confused to discover that 
the pimply sophomoric kid was her trigonometry teacher and the very 
poised young woman holding a toddler on her lap was a fellow student. 
However, I did make it through the day without committing the gaffe of 
asking any of the teachers, "What grade are you in, dear?"

Margaret Ball

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen; whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.


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