Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Mr. Mathy

Sometimes my husband makes me giggle. My favorite is when he tries to show me up with some sort of a mental challenge (c'mon, he's a math teacher; he's got the confidence in his skills). He doesn't succeed as often as he'd like.

This morning was a perfect example. My husband was still sleeping, as were the wee ones. In an effort to keep from waking anyone in the household earlier than necessary, I carefully rolled over to grab my phone where I started playing with the new game I'd downloaded (sound off, of course!).

Slice It is a game where you essentially try to make even sized (by area) pieces of a shape by drawing the required number of lines through it. It starts off pretty easy with circles and squares and equilateral triangles, needing to create four or fewer pieces using one or two lines. As you get further into it, it gets a little more complicated.

By the eighth level, you need to split a rhombus into six equal pieces using four lines. It's not hard to get somewhat close, cutting it in half vertically then drawing segments horizontally. Depending on how close in area the various pieces are, you can receive one to five stars. Me being me, I want five stars for every level. Because that's how I roll.

The rhombus took me a few (possibly an understatement) tries to get five stars. By that time, my husband had woken up and was watching me. As I explained the game to him, he became interested. He scoffed at my method and declared that there was a better mathematical resolution to it. He could calculate it.

I smiled and handed him my phone, interested to see what he would do. In my way, I cut it in half vertically then added my segments. (See my really bad Paint pictures below. This is why I'm not an artist by the way.)

My husband stared at it a moment or two. Long enough for the screen to go black. He handed it to me to fix it, and I suggested he start drawing his lines. He drew his first line, then sat back and scratched his head. It wasn't as easy as he'd thought.

He erased the line. Then he started calculating the size of it and decided that it was a bad size. He needed pen and paper. I giggled.

He tried drawing another line but refused to let me see it. He puzzled some more, and the screen went black again. My phone buzzed to let me know it was down to 15% of the battery remaining.

I extolled the virtues of visualization and spatial relations. He waved me away. Seven or eight minutes later, he handed me the phone back, sighing. He had never even drawn three lines to make the cuts. He gave up before that point because he couldn't do it exact without calculating the exact area of what each segment would be with pen and paper.

I giggled again. This is the same man who could not use a can of whole tomatoes in a recipe because the recipe called for diced tomatoes - even after I offered to dice them for him (and yes, they would eventually have been pureed in that recipe anyway).

As he handed it back to me, he looked at me with a bit of embarrassment in his eyes. I suppose this makes it a little harder to talk you into letting me play games on your phone, huh? Mmmm yeah. Maybe.

Family 4 pack of tickets to Toy Story 3 on ice in Chicago here
Win one of two copies of Avatar in Blu-Ray here
Monster Truck Jam family 4 pack of tickets in Chicago here


Susie January 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM  

I can't say much...I am really bad at those games too!

Tara R. January 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM  

If it doesn't involve halving or doubling ingredients in a recipe, I rarely ever use math, intentionally. I have a difficult time visualizing spatial problems like this. I would have to use pencil and paper to figure it out.

Michelle January 10, 2011 at 9:01 PM  

Susie - The entertaining part is that he absolutely would have been good at it had he been able to get away from the idea that he had to figure out the area and make it perfect. That's what got him stuck. I just draw lines based on where I think they need to go... and it generally works out. ;)

Tara - You realize his pencil and paper meant doing lots and lots of calculations, right? And the fun of this game is that you can draw a line then erase it if it isn't where you want it to be. And retry the level when you fail... like I currently am with drawing 9 even area pieces from a square!

Brandie January 20, 2011 at 8:25 PM  

Thanks. I just got Slice It because of this post. And I can't move forward unless I get all 5 stars.

Michelle January 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM  

Brandie - I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to suck you in, too. But such a fun game, no? I actually had to break down and start using some of the hint I'd earned. Oops. :)

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