Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
July 2020
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12 of 12, September 2015

For this month’s 12th I began the day in Adelaide, having flown up from Hobart yesterday.

When I awoke in my hotel room, after an okay night’s sleep, I decided to do my usual email and internet things, but was thwarted somewhat by the hotel’s extremely slow internet (my thoughts were that it was “wind up internet” instead of “dial up”; it was certainly not broadband). I went back to using my tethered phone, which was much more successful.


While I was waiting for my browser to load I looked out the window. The view wasn’t particularly great, although I quite liked seeing the raven/crow framed by the more distant arch window.


The reason I was in Adelaide was because our Faculty runs “engagement days” for some of our interstate online students, and someone thought it would be a good idea to bring the mathsy person across, to give the students a chance to discuss maths teaching and learning and the like. I needed to bring a fair bit of equipment, which weighed a few kg and took up most of my suitcase.

You can just make out that the bag comes from a conference I attended in Denmark in 2004. It bemuses me that my toiletries bag for travelling contains a tube of Danish moisturizer dating from that same 2004 event. Should I be ashamed/worried that I have an 11 year old tube of hand cream still in my possession being used from time to time?!

bIMG_5493There is something disconcerting about most hotel room corridors, as they have twist and turns that can be disorienting. I was reminded of how they film the corridor scenes on space ships in science fiction movies: there’s usually just one section of corridor, but by carefully instructing the actors to turn and ensuring continuity when editing footage, they create the illusion of some vast labyrinthine structure … that looks ever so much like a hotel interior!

bIMG_5490On my way to find the library — which is where this particular session with students was being held — I happened to come across the Haigh’s chocolate store … and, as a friend of mine has a penchant for such things, I took a detour and came out with a package of goodies (but only one package).


I knew I’d need some water to get through the day so, with some reluctance, I purchased some bottled water. I was intrigued by this bizarre price comparison, however. Needless to say I ended up with the 1.5L bottle.


I had a bit of time to kill before the building I needed was open, so I watched the world go by in Rundle Mall.


Finding the library can be a bit of a challenge as the entry is down a side lane; the even bigger challenge came when I decided to take the stairs. I knew there were three storeys; what I hadn’t quite registered was just how many kg I was carrying in that bag of maths stuff, and I had no idea that each storey involved three flights of stairs. I wish I’d taken the lift.


There were only a couple of students at this session (there were supposed to be more) but they appreciated the visit and assistance; once we were done it was time for me to head to the airport and fly to Melbourne.


My Melbourne hotel has disorienting featureless corridors as well, only more so. They did, however, supply complimentary Lindt chocolate balls, which I totally failed to resist. It’s really just as well I didn’t get any Haigh’s for me.


It was early evening when I arrived, and so I headed out in search of a bite to eat. It was a mild spring Saturday night, and Melbourne was being its usual bustly self with hordes of people wandering the streets and taking photos of the night lights. And so, for a while, I joined them.



(The “12 of 12” project involves taking 12 photos on the 12th of the month. This provides the opportunity to get snapshots of different aspects of your life. I have been doing this since 2009.)

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