I like Fridays at school. We (the staff) get to wear jeans. It’s the day I have my ukulele class, so that’s pretty much the coolest thing right there. And it’s pizza day, and there’s always leftover pizza, some of which finds its way to my house and adds a nice touch to the weekend. Today, however, was a special Friday – it was Pi Day.
No, I haven’t misspelled “pie.” It was Pi Day, the math thing. Pi Day, sometimes known as *Big Nerd Day. It’s that number that’s a little more than three, but definitely not four, and not even a normal fraction. Not 3 1/2. It’s 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993. And it actually goes on a lot longer than that, apparently to infinity.
I’m not really a math guy, and anyone who has known me for a while knows that. But to math people, there’s something magical about the number pi. The symbol looks like this…π Even the symbol has some cache, a level of gravitas, the numbers 71, 5 and 18 just don’t have. Just look at it… π
I realize π is important for a lot of things, most of which I don’t know. I do know we need it to accurately measure circles and I can see a purpose for that. And I imagine if we just used the number “3” without the “.14 etc” behind it, our circles would come out looking like eggs. Which means chickens obviously don’t have access to the number π.
Enough of my mathematical rambling. Today was Pi Day, and that meant in addition to the regular jeans, pizza and ukulele stuff, there was actual pie being served at school. When I got to my room, still early in the morning, the math specialist was already there, giving Marie Calendar pie to 4th graders (which probably ramped them up more than normal, but hey, it wasn’t my class). She tried to push some of the pie on me (but not the π of course), but it was too early in the morning and besides, I had just had a healthy McDonald’s breakfast on the way to school.
Anyway, I hope your Pi Day was as good as mine. And if you’re a *Big Nerd, here’s a website that’ll carry out the number π to a million digits. Because let’s face it, sometimes accuracy counts and 14, 64 or even 800 thousand digits just isn’t close enough.