## Friday, June 01, 2007

### Adventures of Pi and Cabij

Noah has been familiar with pi for at least five years, since Erin began asking questions about it in her own math explorations. He thought it was delightful that there was a number between three and four named after some food that's spelled wrong. He immediately developed his own irrational number, cabij (pronounced like the food, of course), which is between four and five. In math guessing games he would often outwit us by using either pi or cabij as his number. Negative cabij would send him into hysterics.

Several years passed. He's been doing geometry with pi himself lately. Recently we read "Life of Pi", and it dawned on him that both pi and cabij could be incarnated as Euwian characters, mathematicians, in fact. Euwy World gives Noah the kind of emotional safety he needs for his creativity, because it's the place where people are stupid and mistakes are the basis of the humour. He can write, draw and create and do so badly at least partly on purpose, and it's all part of the game.

So lately, after finishing math each evening, while I work with Sophie or while I'm reading aloud, he's been doodling away at some Euwian Math comic strips featuring Pi and Cabij. The spelling is terrible, because it's Euwy World. The printing is messy because it's supposed to be. Question marks are jittery and backwards (except when he forgets). Pi and Cabij are posed a variety of messy, non-sensical math and physics questions, and the answer is always the Euwian symbol for "I dunno." They have various ridiculous mishaps, poor Cabij especially. Pi is often the teacher or mentor posing the questions, while Cabij is the math manipulative used in a demonstration of the solution, or the accident-prone student attempting to solve the problem through real-life experimentation.

What is that thing sticking up from Cabij's head? We think it might be his inflamed Organ of Mathematical Thought.