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Numbers, Starry Night, Iris and Almond Blooms

Good morning, afternoon, evening, 

 

Federica, Silvia, Luca, Daniele, Loretto, Mirella, Marco, Sara, Elisa,

after speaking for so long in class about Israeli writers, we thought about reading Palestinian authors too.

While trying to fill this lack of ours, I'm offering you the origin of numbers to think about. 

It was February 2008  when we had a drink in a bar, Larbi and I. This gentleman, of Moroccan origin, lived and worked here, his family in Florence, all their children attending an international school. He met his wife from Algeria in Belgium, then they moved to other European countries, and after being in Italy for a few years, they went to Egypt. I do not know where he is now.

He came to our class asking for Italian lessons, even if his Italian was already quite good. I thought he might be an English speaker too, and as a class we invited him to visit us whenever he had a little free time, so to to make us listen to the languages he spoke. Interaction with students in Italian and English with all possible connections to the very different realities the languages spoken referred to, was highlighting what a resource in a class multilingualism can be.

That day, on a napkin, in a bar, he drew the numbers you see, asking me for the reason why they were written that way.

I'm asking you the very same question.

What can you figure out from numbers written like this? Why?

What do you know about the origin of numbers? Let us know.

Which role do numbers play in your life?

I was far from understanding then, but I felt so fascinated by the idea of the origin of numbers that I tried to. 

This gentleman told me that his name, in Arabic, his first language, means Arab. Then, moving when he was still very young, he multiplied his identities due to the so different cultures and languages he coped with, all of them so fruitful, connected by a very humble and affable personality.

The following writing is about numbers, to help you find the answer to the questions above.

Once / In the mind of someone / Dawn after dawn / Sunset after sunset / It came to life, took body / The idea, the thought / Of a day after another / Of one thing after another / That time existed / That we are into it / and we became aware of it / How could this someone make it happen? / Will he have spoken? / He drew these signs /And who did he spoke to? / It's a voice that continues speaking / Can you hear it? / It whispers of life, of conscience / It reveals what’s real / Asking to be understood / To hold out one hand / Each one and all of us / For life, for conscience / And you, can you hear it ?

There are a few films about mathematicians, Alan Turing, John Nash and ஸ்ரீனிவாஸ ஐயங்கார் ராமானுஜன், Srinivasa Ramanujan. Which ones did you see?

Enjoy English, enjoy curiosity, develop perceptions and imagination

Come to class with ideas to share

Federica: yes definetely we are continuing speaking about the subject in class. As far as we can, sure. I  asked so many maths teachers if they knew  about the origin of numbers, but they hadn't ever asked anybody or themselves the question, they didn't know at all.

I do think that wex should feel attracted by something and become one of those who wondered about reality trying to understand it, to find explanations and give order to comprehension so to make others access any new knowledge.

Zero and the other numbers had different origin and motivations to be drawn. 

Daniele: the idea of angles is very smart, that's why numbers are written like that. Think of the figurative language too. How clever is a person who can see from different angles, thus having more perspectives, becoming more open minded.   

 

Anna - Coordinator - Source: Van Gogh Iris May 1889; Starry night, June 1889; Almond branches in bloom February 1890;

Comments   

 
0 #3 Daniele 2019-01-28 19:17
I just know numbers has ten base because hand's fingers are ten. And after watching drawing, I'm thinking probably every number is his quantity of angles for drawing it. In my life, and in the life of everyone, numbers are most important than whatever! I work with numbers every day. Every day we need and we produce numbers. For writing song, for making food, for building houses, for driving cars, for saving lives, for painting walls.. Numbers are everywhere! Everything needs numbers. It's quite normal, but we never think of it.
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0 #2 Daniele 2019-01-28 19:15
I just know numbers has ten base because hand's fingers are ten. And after watching drawing, I'm thinking probably every number is his quantity of angles for drawing it. In my life, and in the life of everyone, numbers are most important than whatever! I work with numbers every day. Every day we need and we produce numbers. For writing song, for making food, for building houses, for driving cars, for saving lives, for painting walls.. Numbers are everywhere! Everything needs numbers. It's quite normal, but we never think of it ;-)
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0 #1 Federica 2019-01-27 17:23
What a fascinating story!
Seeing the picture of napkin, the first thing that I noticed was the different writing between zero and the other numbers: from 1 to 9 writing is very hard, almost repelling; instead the zero is very soft. I thought about this feeling, but I didn't find any solution. I must confess you that I couldn't resist my curiosity, so I tried to find on Internet something about this subject and I realized I was on the right path: I want to discuss it with you in the next lesson.
According to me, numbers occupy an important place in every life: each of us has one number connected to important moments of his life or that often recurs; my number is five: five was the position of my name in the register class in middle and high school; five was the day which my son was born; so, when I have to indicate a number, I choose "five".
Don't make fun of me! I can also be more rational...
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