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.