Day 13 – November 26, 2009 (Thu): Reel In Your Evangelists

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 90 Followers: 60 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 12 – November 25, 2009 (Wed): Look for Your Evangelists

twitter_power_joel_comm_150It’s Thanksgiving. Who’s on Twitter? This morning as we prepared the meal and before football started, I had a short back and forth with @SkeeterHarris. He said he liked this experiment. I thanked him. Most of the other comments came either from the Buffalo Bills players and what appeared to be scheduled tweets.

By half time of the second game, Twitter bubbled with a touch more activity. Still sparse, but a little more. While I wasn’t looking, though, my eleventh grader sent me on a journey down memory lane that pleased me and astonished her.

It all began when I posted a query regarding a pre-calculus problem concerning the rotation of conics. If you don’t remember, rotation of conics merely requires one to relocate a non-parallel conic section onto an axis. You see, there’s this nasty xy term we’ve got to rid of and… oh well, it’s actually easier to draw than to explain. Moments before I dove into virtual space, my daughter had come to me as I reclined after a filling Thanksgiving dinner with a question on the rotation of conics. I sat embarrassed. I vaguely remembered the subject. The reminiscence was pleasant, but I could tell the subject tormented her. As a father, you always want to ease the pain of your child’s pain. And I couldn’t.

So off to the internet I ran. I quickly twittered for a source on the rotation of conics. Turns out Google provided the answer much quicker. And my daughter’s textbook even faster. So I relearned the rotation of conics. Oh, Joy! Rapture! The smooth elegance of simple algebra (which, despite all them there fancy quadratic equations, trigonometric functions and x-and-y-primes, is all that really comprises rotation of conics).

Not since I taught my then third-grade son algebra have I shared the ecstasy of math with one of my children. She surprised herself and got it. As with so many math-related thingamabobs, it’s all just adding and subtracting (and sometimes multiplying and dividing). With rotation of conics, all you need to do is check your work a little more. Of course, still scarred by her earlier frustration, my daughter failed to share any enthusiasm for the breakthrough. So I explained to her a secret her math teacher for sure doesn’t want me to tell her. With all this talk about the difficulty of calculus, when she finally gets there, I promised her she’s gonna be mad. After all this pain-in-the-neck algebraic manual labor, I told her she’d discover calculus is too easy. Knowing me child, she’ll get angry, wondering what kept her teacher’s from showing her calculus for so long.

So this Thanksgiving I didn’t really reel in any evangelists, but I am thankful for all those who’ve helped me along with little Twitter experiment. Perhaps I’ll #FF them tomorrow.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results tomorrow on Day 14 – November 27, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Customer Service

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