Sunday, January 13, 2008


The other day my friend Heidi was giving me directions. She said when I got to a five way stop, I should turn on the street perpendicular to my stop sign.

I just looked at her.


“Perpendicular,” she repeated.

She might as well have been speaking Latin. It was like I had heard the word before but had no comprehension of its meaning.

Sweet Heidi must have felt like she was talking to a child.

“Just turn here,” she said, not looking at all like someone who has just reevaluated her college-educated friend’s education.

Yeesh. I hope I’m just getting stupider as I get older. Not that I’ve been stupid the whole time.

The kicker? Yeah. You guessed it. I still don’t know what perpendicular means. I mean, I’ve heard it before but apparently never filed it in my own lexicon.

(See, I know lexicon. Whoo, look at me.)

Definitions, derision, and sympathy all welcomed.

P.S. – Mom, maybe Berean will give you some of your money back.


WendyJanelle said...

Perpendicular, in that context, would mean turn right or left and go that way. Parallel means going the same direction. Math terms. Did you like math in high school and/or college?

If you put two spaghetti sticks side by side ( // ), they are parellel. Put them like a T and they are perpendicular.

Heidi said...

I actually remembered something from geometry class. I just wanted to make sure you got on Prospect St. and not Guilford Rd.
Glad I could be of help! :-)

WendyJanelle said...

And, just so you don't get yourself lost.... it doesn't have to be a in a dead-end street! heh heh. Any two lines that would eventually make a right angle are perpendicular. Make sense? Gosh, I really do love math. In any context.

Anonymous said...

You do understand what a 90 degree angle is? That is a "right angle". And how fun to incorporate perpendicular into your vocabulary?
You could exercise great posture by standing perpendicular to the ground....not that you don't already, but now you can describe it that way.

The Beard Bunch said...

I see you have already had perpendicular defined for you, so I will spare you the repetition. However, as a college math instructor I think it is pretty cool that you and your friends "talk in such a way." :)

Juliet said...

HA HA HA YOU AND MATH...Never in the same conversation!! Remember when you applied at Menard? You told Dad that you didn't like math.
Love you always, Mom

Ann-Marie said...

Thank you for that affirmation, Mom! You are SO right.

For those math-o-phobes out there, (I'm surprised you don't remember my math deficiency, Tob) I intensely dislike math. I only maintained straight A's in high school math classes by gritting my teeth and studying like mad. In college, I switched science for math, THANK YOU MOODY!!!

I'm grateful for all of your talents and in amazement that you not only bear math...but like it!

I, on the other hand, carry a calculator in my purse, so I'll never have to use my head again. (well, for math, anyway). God bless Texas Instruments.

Heidi said...

I have a calculator on my phone with a camera.