Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Conic Sections

Accustomed as he had been in boyhood to a solitary life in beautiful scenery, there was something in a fine landscape that was to him like a friend and companion; and he sometimes felt that it would have been worse if he had been in a dull, uniform country, instead of among mountain peaks and broad wooded valleys. Working hard, too, helped him not a little, and conic sections served him almost as well as they served Laura.  -- Heir of Redclyffe

It's funny that right after reading about Guy and Laura studying Conic Sections to train their minds, upon Philip Morville's advice,  in The Heir of Redclyffe, Sean embarks on Conic Sections in his Algebra II book and Clare tells me they are doing Conic Sections in her math class at TAC, using Apollonius in translation.   Since I have to help Sean -- really, teach him, since the book isn't very helpful -- I guess all three of us are disciplining our minds.

And my brain after three hours of parabola, circles, ellipses and hyperbola does feel exactly like my arms feel after I have done enough free-weight reps -- muscle failure, a kind of failure that supposedly helps with future success.   Well, here's hoping for well trained minds for all three of us.

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