Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thinking in Tens

Saturdays we walk to the farmers market.  It's two miles from our house.  We visit our favorite booths, visit with our favorite market friends and, every summer, make new friends too.  And, we go to see the kittens the animal shelter brings every week.

The kitties (and the assorted teenagers who hang out with them) are all housed inside the lobby of City Hall.  Today, the two grey kittens were darling and the young woman who my almost eight-year-old has dubbed "the dramatic teenager' was teaching my kid how to sing.

I found myself with some (incredibly rare) time to think my own thoughts.  My phone got boring quite quickly, but I noticed some art on the walls so I wandered over to take a look.  Turns out they were prints of rubbings made from sewer covers, one of my very favorite places to find fascinating visual math.

The first picture has a fun math-y overlay in the reflection...see it?

So much to look at and take in.

I went and found a comfy bench and pulled out my notebook and a not-very-sharp pencil.  From across the lobby I could see my favorite image, the one with squares in a circle.  Satisfied with sitting I squinted across the space and tried to figure out how many squares made the inner circle.

And then I started doodling.

At first I tried to freehand some squares in a circle.  I thought about angles.  I thought about how I didn't want there to be eight, because that's too easy.  So, I picked ten.  I thought about what it meant to freehand a circle.  I thought about how I liked that using an un-sharp pencil made me really think about precision.  I thought about how I was getting better at spacing ten dots around each circle.  I asked myself, how many different ways can I connect these dots to make something interesting?

On the walk home, things literally came full circle when we saw this:

I love Saturdays.

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