Wednesday, March 14, 2018

30th Anniversary, well sort of


When you sign on to google, if you do...
you'll see the Google logo designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Pi Day".

Around here we've taken note of this day ever since my 34 year old daughter was an 11 or 12 year old, somewhere around 5th or 6th grade.
6th grade, I think.

That was when her upper grade classroom pod (4 classes) studied Pi.
They learned about it through experiments, surveying those they knew - to learn What they knew about Pi and by having a contest.
All of this culminated on March 14th, Pi Day, 
with real pie from Marie Calendars!

The contest involved what her teacher called a "bumper sticker" of Pi.  It was about the size and shape of a bumper sticker and held line after line of the numerals in Pi.
176 digits in all.
The students were told 'whoever memorized the most Pi would 'win'.
What they would win I no longer remember.

But, my girl took on the challenge and went out to recess.
She came back with the first 4 lines memorized!

Her teacher couldn't believe it!
He told her the 'if you memorize the rest of it over night, I'll just die'.

There was her motivation.
Of course, not really...she liked this teacher.
But it was a challenge, so her being her...
she took it!

She came home that night with her 'bumper sticker' and
went back the next day with all 176 digits firm in her brain!

The four upper grade teachers went on the mad hunt for 'more Pi' for her.
They presented her with an 8.5 X 11 page of tiny printed Pi!

Off she went, to memorize!
Within two weeks, she memorized something like
470-something digits!!

Everyone was shocked and amazed and wowed!
I was proud.
What a memory!

She (of course) won the contest, hands down.
At the Pi Day celebration, she recited it in front of all the upper grade students 
and a few scattered parents.

She COULD NOT understand what all the fuss was about...
why I wanted to video tape her reciting it...
why everyone talked about it...
why I told her grandparents.

It was just something she did.

Years later, she understood our amazement better.
She explained to me that she memorized it in sets of three.
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...

and so on.

One year later on 3-14, I video-taped her again.
She still knew way over 200 digits.
Two years later, she still knew the original 176 digits! 

I have never been able to wrap my head around this
(and yes, I don't care for this phrase, but it fits here).

Other things I just couldn't get:

When watching the video of herself, she corrected a 
mistake somewhere within that 400+ digits! 

When getting in the car one night,
she looked at the digital clock saying, 
"Oh man!!"
When I asked her what was up, 
she said that it was 9:24.


And off she went into her memory of those numbers, carrying on from that point,
somewhere in Pi!


Happy Pi Day to you all and to my girl the most,
because she brought Pi alive for all who knew her!

May all of your memories be sweeping and sweet!


Liz A said...

The word “prodigious” came to mind ... and there’s even a little pi in there (ha!)

Peggy said...

Love this piece of family lore! Truly amazing, that girl, wish her a Happy Pi Day from me. xx

Mo Crow said...

Wow! your daughter has a prodigious memory

Els said...

WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(some daughter you have !)

Nancy said...

Liz~ Ha. A little Pi will do ya! :)

Peggy~ Family lore is a good way to put it. I'll send her the link.

Mo~ I never had a memory like that...and I sure don't now! haha

Els~ She is pretty amazing, memory and more!


Hazel said...

Wow, I can barely remember a phone number these days...
I love that there is always some magic to discover inside of each of us.

Nancy said...

Hazel~ Ha, really! I still know my childhood phone numbers, but no current ones! Who needs to with everything stored in our phones! And yes, I was just talking to someone tonight about the many sides to one person. :)