D. Allen

Old Blog

David Allen is a mathematician, graphic artist, writer, personal trainer, and video producer for-hire.  But, honestly, you'll be lucky if he blogs on any of these things.  He'll probably just tell you how his day is going (or how yours should be).

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads . . . but you might want to bring your ti-86

King Nebuchadnezzer dreamed of a statue.  It had a gold head, silver mid-bits, a belly and thighs of bronze, iron legs, and clay feet.  Whoever designed this statue must have, at every stage, said to himself, "Wow, this is turning out better than I expected!  Maybe I should upgrade my medium."  . . . or, maybe, it just meant King N's kingdom was in store for some crappier times.

"Hey Dave," you might say as we enjoy our ice cream cones, "Your overall pretense makes me think you have it all together.  You, obviously, are not worried about finishing school.  Man, this is one mighty fine hypothetical frozen treat."  I am, however, not immune to the nervousness everyone gets when beginning something new.  I ask myself:  Was I not just a big fish in a little pond?  Will third and fourth year math classes be much harder than I expect? 

After all, I did just bomb a basic algebra competency quiz at my tutoring interview.  It was if I was just given a driving lesson in a car with a manual transmission and had no problem putting the car into first gear, but could not quite understand how to operate the turn signal.  "Good!," my instructor would exclaim as I eased on the gas through the clutch's sweet-spot (with minimal instruction, of course), ". . . now make this next left."  I honk the horn; he shakes his head no.  I turn on the wipers; he shakes his head no.  I flick the turn signal clockwise; he snaps his clipboard in half. 

I wonder, "What if I'm just not cut out for this mathematics racket?"  Then, as I'm using the self checkout at the supermarket, I realize an employee is coming over to help me.  Apparently I cannot look up the sku for my avocados, without the help of a King Soopers employee.  I, who once worked at a grocery store, cannot read the large "4225" on the sticker of each avocado and put it into the computer (there were six avocados in all-- 6 avocados x 1 "4225" = 6 "4225"s).  It was then I realized, academia and I deserve each other.  I was meant for this. 

After all, there are academics and then there are people who are actually useful.  Now I wonder how I am supposed to get one of these avocados open.  Maybe it would help if I drew a force diagram.