Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Geometry - The Catholic Soul

That's why Geometry, Clyde.

I pick up twelve to thirteen Leo students every morning.  Sophomore Clyde "The Glide" Butler is a veteran passenger and my first stop in Englewood of Chicago.  Clyde is a school leader, by dint of his character developed from his family, and an excellent student with 3.8 GPA.  That freshman year cumulative average is currently being battered by Euclid and Archimedes: Geometry.
                                                             Clyde the Glide Leo 2018
The sophomores are having a genuine struggle, as did I in  the Fall of1967, getting a grip on Geometry the second step of the classical quadrivium ( Arithmetic, Geometry, Astrology and Music).  The 19th Century Germans and 20th Century American sociologist-philosophes murdered education by systematically undoing  1800 years of Classical Education in name of Kaiser and then John Dewey.  Now, there is Arne Duncan armed with Common Core and Video lessons from Howard Zinn and his comic book quality videomaster Kenneth Burns - just wait until you learn how FDR saved his career by making Henry Wallace his Veep.

Geometry survives in the curriculum, as does Counting and Ciphering wages amounting up to and including $ 15.00 per hour. Geometry, because we all need to learn the angles and Math because Mickey D's needs cashiers.

Geometry, if taught correctly, is murder in the early goings.  Dead Tan Guys invented Geometry. The same folks who gave us Democracy and the best cuisine of God's Blue Planet made sense of universe -geometry handled the shapes and Arithmetic the majesty and types of numbers. Geometry and Math were cult classics, because they were mysteries more than disciplines (like our Prussian John Dewey demands).
The Greeks realized that mathematics offered the young mind its first immediate encounter with Truth.  Early education taught basic reading and calculating skills, and developed a taste for beautiful and noble actions and ideas.  Through these efforts, the youth were made receptive to their culture.  But geometry, the study of shapes through measurement, and arithmetic, the study of fascinating kinds of numbers, contained truths that transcended any human society.  Right triangles and ellipses belong to no man; they are instances of a beautiful, ordered reality that is eternal and divine.  Students learned that such truth exists, and that their minds could see it. from Beyond the Test: Educating in The Truth
Geometry and Arithmetic built cathedrals, aqueducts, roads that all led to Rome, mosaics, sculpture, painting, military dicta and screwed fresh water up to a thirsty folks from the Nile.  That screwer of Lake Michigan Straight was none other than Archimedes who studied his Euclid and gave the Romans all kinds of hell during the eight years of siege on his town of Syracuse. Like I said, Old Dead Tan Guys mastered the shapes and numbers and allowed us to put them to practical purposes.

" Why do we gotta study Geometry? Its boring.  What do you do with it?" saith Clyde the Glide.

Euclid heard the same damn thing.  Euclid understood that we live in a 3-D world and only need the glasses to see it that way.  The glasses are reverence.  Geometry ( and I received a Gentleman's D) is awesome - in the proper definition.  It does, or should strike awe in all of us - more so than Mark Zuckerberg's PT Barnum nonsense.  Euclid stole no one Else's ideas - far as I know.

Numbers and shapes lead us to The Truth - we Catholics call that God.  That is Catholic soul, Clyde.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I had a math teacher as a sophomore who still stands in my mind,who was a really good teacher and made me actually do well and enjoy geometry. Mr Giordano.
Not many good teachers stand out in my mind from those days.
I always did well if the teacher taught well,or a least teach the way I could understand it.
I always needed to understand the reasoning.