When I was in tenth grade I did a project in geometry class about geometric string art. Like my Latin project a few years earlier, the geometry project inspired me to new creative heights. It featured a character named Wally the Math Nerd, who had a crush on another character named Hester Hexagon. He saw Hester across a swimming pool and started walking towards her, but she saw him and started walking away from him, and if you drew lines in between the points at which they found themselves at any given moment, you’d end up with some sort of curve the name of which I’m sure I knew then but have long since forgotten. I presented the project in character as Wally, with my hair slicked back, my pants hiked up above my waist, my eyes squinched together behind my glasses, and my voice as nasal as I could make it. I demonstrated the phenomenon not only with a piece of poster board with string sewn onto it (labeled “W” and “H” at the appropriate points) but also with a computer program I wrote myself, in BASIC. I got an A+ and had no friends.
January 19, 2006
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