Monday, December 29, 2008

How Did You Remember How to Tell Your Right From Your Left?

I recently asked a six-year-old how she remembered right from left. She told me that she just "used her brain and thought about it". So, I asked her how she learned it. She told me that her mother told her one day when she was brushing her hair and then she just remembered. She doesn't use any special technique to remember. She just knows.

What does this have to do with math? Not much except... The way that I learned my right from my left is similar to the definition of "even" and "odd".

The definition of even: Divisible by two.
The definition of odd: Not even.

I remembered which was my right hand because it was the one that I used to write with. My left hand therefore was the one that wasn't right.

The only flaw: I was ambidextrous and could never remember the hand I supposed to use (my mom and the kindergarten teacher had rules about such things).

How did you remember? Take the poll in the left column.

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