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February 06, 2010


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I am in awe of his accomplishment. Nina is also a "mathlete", though she is not one of the team members at our school. She will go to compete individually if I understand correctly but she was not one of the top 4 picked to be the team? (She was number 7 of 46 who took the test to be picked.) Since November she has gone to school an hour early twice a week - which I was stunned to hear that she would consider since she loves to sleep - to prepare with the team.

Anyway, I have seen what she has been learning. The first competition is next week. And maybe because math is defintely not my strongest suit (not that I'm terrible at it, just that it's my worst hand), I am cheering her on!

Your son absolutely ROCKS!

Oh, the happy memories this brings back! MathCounts -- the best part of middle school for me. I won the regional MathCounts individual competition in 8th grade and our school must have won too (I didn't win the countdown part, though, that I remember). I had a big rival (who I also had a crush on) from my school and they counted out the top individuals starting from #6 and working up to #1. I knew my rival got #3 and the moment I found out that I'd won AND beat him was amazing. State competition was really fun -- we got to stay in a hotel even though it was local and having our whole team there made it fabulous. We knew a lot of the other math nerds from other competitions and it was great being all together. I ended up coming in 13th or something just low enough not to get a trophy and my rival got 6th or so and our school must have just missed getting a trophy too. The fun we all had together made up for not winning, for the most part. I continued on math team in high school, but that was the only time I won something individually.

Ahhh. Nerds unite :)

Meanwhile, my three year old cries when I won't let him build more snap circuits and both he and his five year old brother beg their father to do physics projects together. I'm afraid of what nerdy endeavors they may undertake by the time they're twelve. But I'm happy to embrace it.

Ah, memories. Somewhere up in my attic is a shoebox full of my 1991 National Science Olympiad medals. Nerd competitions are awesome.


MathCounts is great, but don't you have Quiz Bowl there? THAT is where my inner "sports Mom" comes out. I have to take a notebook along to write down the answers so that I don't blurt them out. I'm actually considering attending the local tournaments next year after all my kids have graduated.

I love this post.

When I was in second grade I played a thing called Basal Ball (don't ask me why it was called that; I've no idea). It worked like this: You stood on "home" and a word appeared on a TV screen where the pitcher's mound would have been. If you pronounced it correctly, you moved the appropriate number of bases depending on how difficult the word was. I think my team came up just shy of going to state.

Fun times, those.

Awww, this is AWESOME! We're a geeky family too, but I think my youngest will like sports way more than he likes math. Like a good Brazilian (atypical for many women, though) I've always enjoyed watching soccer at the World Cup and most sports in the Olympic games, so I guess I will enjoy watching my sons' matches if they ever play a sport. BUT I think I'd enjoy a math competition or a spelling bee way better! :-)

Just to clarify, we do not call ourselves "mathletes". At least, the mathcounts people I know. We actually would really like to shoot whoever is making the announcements when something highly embarassing about "mathletes", or "Math Wizards" comes over the PA. "Mathletes" is almost always said by an adult, unless accompanied by "Isn't that a lame word?" or said in a tone of voice dripping with sarcasm that is generally reserved for the Jonas Brothers.

When I was in MathCounts, we had shirts that said, "Property of the Mathletics Dept" so I think that's where that title comes from...way back in the early '90s. Countdown round is AWESOME--I practiced and practiced my 8th gr year, enough that I moved from #7 to #2 at State, beating the #4 guy off the team for Nationals competition--what a rush!!! And then the Nationals competition was a big lesson in humility and finding myself in the middle of the pack.

The exclamation points in your football series look irresistibly like factorials. I thought, "these kids are really serious. 8! is not really a manageable number"

FWIW, I used that term because it was the ribbon she brought home. I have no clue about Math Counts, mathletes, math wizards, or anything of the sort. I do not like math, personally, though I was very capable at it, with all As in it, until I hit Calculus with a big thud. I'll remember not to use the term again.

Oh, Tracy, he was complaining at me, not you. He didn't see your comment and I didn't remember the "mathlete" part of it -- I wouldn't have let him post something that sounded so snarky. Sorry about that!

He skipped over all the comments with their compliments and congratulations. I should have encouraged him to read them and be appreciative instead of crabby!

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