Math for Mates

Day 2 of Teach Me Something was yesterday. If you want to get caught up on my Growth Plan so far, check it out here,

Yesterday it was my husband’s turn to teach me something. We sat down and next thing I knew, the entire page was filled with greek letters and formulas. One of my husband’s “specialities” is fluid dynamics, many people’s favorite subject in school….so that’s where he decided to start.

If a fluid flows through a tube at a certain velocity due to volume and pressure, what happens to that fluid when the volume changes? That’s what I learned last night. I also got a refresher on all of those basic physics formulas that I haven’t applied since junior year of high school, F=ma, a=d/t, and P=F/A and all that fun stuff.

Although the basic physic equations came back to me pretty easily, the fluid dynamics stuff was tough. He just kept on saying things like “Pressure plus one half rho volume squared” and “if density and mass are held constant than so is velocity”. I felt like I was back in Barcelona, picking out small fragments of Català sentences that sounded familiar to string together some form of understanding. Trying to comprehend all these symbols was like trying to speak a new language.

And I realized that that is exactly what it is. Each of us go to our respective jobs and “speak the language” all day. I am talking about diagnostic criteria and throwing out random numbers to form an ICD-10 code and he is looking at schematics of a small tube or pressure valve in a jet engine littered with symbols and arrows and subscripts. Then we come home and we speak our own language. The language that consists of baby milestones, and family updates, and coordinating schedules. Switching back and forth from languages can be tough, it’s a lot for your brain to handle. Somehow we take words on a page, or numbers on a calculator, which are really just little squiggly marks, and our brain memorizes them, interprets them and then translates them to advanced ideas and difficult equations.

This feat of your brain is truly amazing. It makes me want to use my brain as much as I can to keep it sharp. And the best ways of doing that is to learn new things.

Happy learning!

Published by annkendig

I am a mental health and addiction therapist in Cincinnati Ohio. Happy exploring and may all beings be well.

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