Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Modernity and Math Tutors

When I spent the year in Israel in 1993-1994 communication wasn’t exactly what it is today. It’s actually almost impossible to believe that we lived without the fast paced, always present ways to communicate. I remember sending aerograms to my family and waiting with great anticipation to get their reply. Well, it was their reply to something I had written two weeks before…but never mind.

And the phone. We would collect up asimonim (who remembers those!?) and wait by the pay phone. Now, at Kibbutz Revivim there was only one pay phone nearby, 60 participants on my program and countless other volunteers. Can you imagine how long it took to wait in line to get to use the phone? Or how impossible it was if a family member wanted to reach us instead of the other way around?



And now, everything happens at the touch of a button. The ability to communicate quickly and flawlessly through email, Facebook, an American phone line, Facetime and the like allows us to be in constant communication with our families. Moving far away simply doesn’t create the communication vacuum that it once did. This is not to say that it’s not difficult to be so far away, but it is to say that there are some great ways to stay in touch.

I was particularly tickled tonight. 

Yehuda was struggling with his math homework, and I am definitely the last person who can help with geometry. When he opened his book tonight I tried not to pass out as I saw the triangles, squares and rectangles screaming to be examined for the volume, the circumference, the whateveritisyoudoingeometry.

And, imagine on top of my lack of math skills, trying to help a kid who is translating every sentence into English.

Ugh.

So, we did what I always do when I don’t know something. 

We called Papa Rogie.
Papa Rogie to the rescue!

Well, actually we sent him a message that said, “Math emergency! Call as soon as you get up!” And since he gets up around 5 am, it was no problem to get started on our math quite early.

He tried to talk Yehuda through a number of problems. They held up diagrams for each other to see, they compared notes and they solved problems.

It was very cute.

Facetime, broken arms, and geometry with clics.
And it definitely made me marvel at the way that technology has skyrocketed us into places we could never have imagined; and how it has made our lives so much easier in many ways and so much more personal from far away.


Assuming Papa Rogie has the patience for it, I believe that we’ve found our new math tutor. 

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