Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More Than Math Problems

12yo: Mom, can you help me with this math problem?
Me: Sure (while I still can…better get in while the gettin’s good, my friend, as you are undoubtedly about to surpass my math capabilities once and for all)
12yo: Ummm…first is this pronounced “skay-leen” or “say-leen”?
Me: That’s “skay-leen” (the word, in case you are rusty in your math terms…I don’t judge that…is scalene, and is used in our discussion of triangles).
12yo: Oh, that’s right...“say-leen” has to do with whales…
Me: No, that’s “bay-leen” (Baleen for those of you not up on your types of whales; a baleen whale is one which has no teeth, but uses its baleen, which are like strainers, to collect millions of tiny organisms from the water and that’s how they eat. You can find out more about baleen whales HERE if you are interested.)
12yo: So what’s saline?
Me: Salt and water mixed together in a solution.
12yo: Oh that’s right...like the ocean.
Also, for those of you reading this who may be wondering…the answer is no, I did not have to look up scalene, baleen or saline…these are just some of the random things apparently floating around in my brain, awaiting their chance to come to the forefront. Yikes…it is truly scary in there.
Me: So…saline, scalene and baleen…those are terrific rhyming words. Why don’t you write a poem with all of them?
12yo: Insert eyeroll here
Since my suggestions are largely underappreciated by the PBA, and because I live with a bunch of fuddy-duddies, I took it upon myself to write one (or two) poems myself:
Sea water’s salty
Some say saline
But that is not why
Some whales are baleen.

Or how about this: 

My least favorite triangle’s a scalene;
I like my sides to match.
Instead I prefer a whale that’s baleen;
But they are not easy to catch.

Writing a poem with those words is not as easy as one might think, especially to get all three words in the same poem. 

Don’t judge.
That being said, Miss Bloggypants and I have waited long enough for Christine to come up with another contest…and we simply cannot wait any longer. So I will take a turn at it.
I am not asking for these to be good poems…just poems. If you are so inspired, please include your poem in the comments below.
Game on.


  1. Never one to pass up a challenge like this:

    There once was a whale that was baleen,
    That swam in the waters so saline,
    It wandered away …
    Found a new place to play
    In the spot near Bermuda that’s scalene.
    (Author's disclaimer: The Bermuda Triangle may or may not be scalene; I don't think anyone is going to seek out exact measurements because of a challenge in a blog. In the immortal words of Mrs. Always Random, "Don't judge."

    1. This is my favorite, hands down. It wasn't just good, it had Bermuda in it!!

    2. Somehow I thought it might speak to you...

    3. Haha! Thanks, Christine! When I heard "whale" and "triangle," my brain immediately went to Bermuda!

  2. Eek! I am NOT following Lori M. That is pretty darn good!

    I may be back. Or I might not be....maybe I'll just stop while I'm ahead with my big award over at Fly On (Our Chicken Coop) Wall ...

    1. No, no, no you have to play. You can't stop with your major award from Christine.

      And I want to see the word "syrple" in this one too, Missy.

    2. Ditto Mrs. R.! You must try it! I was inspired because I was at work, trying to avoid my overwhelming to-do list. You just need to find the right inspiration. ;)

  3. Ohhh DANG Lori! That's awesome.

    I now have to look up 'scalene' (squalene I know, but not scalene)

    Back soon - have challenge - will rise...

  4. Once upon a maths lesson
    Where meaning often hides
    A whale took a trip one day
    And on some waves did ride

    He tried to find some tiny fish
    Where they in saline live;
    To catch them up and strain them
    With his giant baleen sieve

    A little shark was watching him
    (He swam without much toil:
    His buoyancy is neutralised
    Because of squalene oil)

    He paddled up and asked the whale
    “Oh great one, I am keen
    To ask a question of you”
    And he gave the whale a beam

    The whale smiled back at shark
    “You’re right, I do outrank
    Your little brain-power: ask away
    My dear elasmobranch”

    The sharky scratched his head and said
    “My brain is not serene:
    I cannot rest until I’ve found out
    What on earth this means”

    ‘I’m muscle and I’m Greek
    I’m also base inclined to axis
    My sides are three; you won’t catch me
    Unless your brain relaxes’

    “Dear whale, I’ve searched” young Sharky said
    “Through seas both blue and green
    To try to find an answer
    To this riddle most obscene”

    The whale’s brain rumbled as it churned
    The riddle, as through a machine
    “EUREKA!” at last, the whale cried
    “It’s the triangle ‘scalene’”

    “A triangle most awkward -
    With its three unequal sides
    And interiorly, lie three unequal
    Angles there besides!”
    Sharky swam and danced a jig
    The answer now was gleaned
    And hence when’e’er he had a query
    T’was with the whale he convened.

    1. Wow, Lizzi...just wow.

      BUT...I am not declaring you a winner just yet...sorry, Darlin'! :)

    2. Awe! Some!

      Yes, indeed, wow sums it up nicely. Love it!

    3. No, well as I said - I've not ever won one of these yet, so everyone better get poeming their best :D

    4. And awesome poem with an embedded riddle!?! You've outdone yourself. The only suggestion I have to make it better is add the word syrple. Would win for sure.

    5. Epic monstrous! But yeah, no syrple *facepalm*

  5. Oh, so thought I might try...but then Lizzi went all epic poem there and now I just think not.

    1. Lisa, you should try - definitely. Because having an epically long poem, I PROMISE, is no guarantee of anything (I speak as someone who's never won one of these before, in spite of other monster poems). Just be creative and have fun with it.

    2. Lisa...please enter...I know Lizzi blew the doors off it, BUT that doesn't mean you can't one-up her! ;)

    3. LOL! My best efforts anywhere have thus far gone without winning squat - I'm totally beatable :D

    4. Lizzi I wouldn't say that you TOTALLY beatable...come on now, give yourself some credit. I know that's not like you to do, but as Kari said, it is epic... :)

    5. The movie 'Spartacus' was Epic. As was 'Cleopatra'. I got bored of both of them and fell asleep because they were monsters.

  6. I would enter this contest, but how could I possibly comment regarding scalene without mentioning isosceles and acute...Euclid would be very disappointed in me.

    1. touche... however, I'd love to see what you'd do by including those two. And what can you come up with that rhymes with isosceles...just sayin' ;)

    2. Hahaha! Preschoolers may occupy your days, but the math teacher in you is never far from the surface. :)

  7. Once there was a whale named Pauline.
    Over many questions she would muse,
    Asking her mom for a few clues,
    As they swam in a world of saline.

    “Will I get cavities if I don’t brush my Baleen?”
    “Where did I get this big bruise?”
    “How great were the films of John Hughes?”
    “Do you know the chemical formula for Benzene?”

    And “What makes a triangle Scalene?”
    Are a few of the topics they would peruse,
    Until she asked for some tattoos,
    And then mom grounded Pauline.

    1. PAULINE!! of course!

      This is a good one. I love "And them mom grounded Pauline". Did she get grounded because she asked for tattoos or because she was asking SO MANY QUESTIONS?!!!! lol (I know that can get annoying for a mom...first hand experience and all)

    2. Oh Cathy...you amaze me with your talents...and for the record, Kari, I am willing to bet that Cathy is not at all annoyed at answering questions because she knows just about everything there is to know in the entire world. :) In college we kept a list of things which Cathy did NOT know and the list wasn't very long.

  8. The title
    Math is stupid

    scalene is not square
    and I don't care

    baleen keeps me from getting eaten
    when at the beach i am seaten

    saline comes from my eyes
    especially when i cries

    homeschoolers are cooler
    especially when they choose my poem
    as they do work from home

    that is the best a pregnant girl can give you you!
    you have some dry clever friends the rest of us bow to their rhyme ability

    1. You had me at "Math is stupid" ...

    2. This had me giggling all the way through :D Love it.

    3. Even if you don't like math, I still adore you, Jen. You crack me up!

    4. I agree with Kari...you also had me at "Math is stupid"...

    5. Thanks girls I needed a title and figured it might get a vote from the judges IF they also do not like math!
      And I do bow to the friends who wrote super long clever poems seriously clever!!!

  9. Crud. I should never have started reading these until after I wrote mine!! I'll be back after I've cleansed my brain.
    And Jen, Math is not stupid. It is the best subject ever taught. :)

    1. If my teachers had made math all about money, and shopping I think I might have done better. As I say this E is sitting at the white board doing 4 digit addition for FUN! I have 3 very math minded kids.

  10. Good heavens. Good luck choosing a winner in this one!

    My submission...

    I once met a humpback named Syrple,
    The biggest baleen I'd ever seen.

    He was off on his own, away from his pod,
    Because bullies had bothered him so.

    It seems they thought his tail was quite funny,
    All wonky and shaped like a scalene (triangle).

    As he told me the tale of the badgering,
    I couldn't help but be sad for him, too.

    "Are you crying?" he asked. "What, this? Oh, no."
    They're not tears, they're just drops of saline.

    (You know. 'Cause you're a whale.
    And we're in the ocean.)

    1. Ok, so you use the word "Syrple" and didn't incorporate "purple"??? ;)

      Either way, this is pretty great!

    2. LOL! Damn I forgot all about the Syrple...

    3. Yes, the PBA shall struggle to determine a winner, that is for sure...

    4. Good luck to them.

      Overholt8's made me laugh most :)

    5. Syrple! What in the world! Seriously Kari is right how could you not use purple in there? I like the added ( ) at the end!

      and thanks Consider… my kids do not find me amusing anymore… or at least the big kids do not the 2 littlest ones still laugh but the 7yr old is giving my a sympathy laugh at this point in her life.

    6. Pah! They underappreciate you. At least proper grown-ups find you funny. We 30 year olds have impeccably good taste and are very discerning :)

  11. I turn instant stupid at the talk of writing a poem. I'm out.

    1. See now, Dyanne.... try as I might I can't figure out how to "Roses are red, Violets are blue" with these 3 words. The assignment is too hard! ;) I'm with you... instant stupid at the talk of writing a poem... ;)

    2. I'm not calling you guys names but a certain animal about which Christine knows quite a bit comes to mind...and it is NOT pigs.

    3. *bwahk-bwahk!* Yep, that's me.... (and yes, that took some thinking to figure out how to spell chicken 'bwahk-ing')

  12. OK...I clearly need a hobby because even though I can't enter the contest, I am still thinking about it. Here it goes:

    There once was a man from Scalene
    Who, 'stead of teeth, he had baleen.
    He opened up wide
    When in came the tide,
    And swallowed a mouthful of saline.

    Thanks folks, I'll be here all week...try the veal.

    1. Definitely a shame you're not eligible for the contest...

    2. Very good :) I do like a good limerick :D

    3. As good as the poem was, "try the veal" made me laugh the hardest. :)

    4. I concur with Christine.... "try the veal"