Saturday, May 18, 2013


Yeah, apparently I can earn a PhD in mathematics, but I can't figure out how to video chat on my tablet.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Appreciative Ape

For those of you who have kept me on your feeds and blog rolls during my stints of absence, I thank you.

Over the last year, my life has taken a few unexpected turns. One is that it looks as though one of my novels will be published.  To that end, I have started a new blog under my pen name, Beth Bishop. I will be keeping it up regularly, maybe not every day, but regularly, and I will keep you all posted on the progress of the book.

For now, the Ape will remain, especially if I ever end up publising the series that is my heart and soul. If you would be so kind, check out Beth's blog, Upon A Time.

With Love,
The Ape

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ape Update

I had a baby February 10, 2012.

I got my PhD March 20, 2012.

Two huge challenges met.

It's been such a busy year. This is a start of sorts, I suppose, and an end. I don't know if I'll resume posting regularly here. Everything seems like such a chore when you have a baby, including the baby.

After over a year away from it, I've started writing again. I don't expect it to be any more fruitful than it was before, but I'm doing it.  It makes me happy, and that is what I need right now.

If anyone reads this, I appreciate it.

--The Ape

Monday, July 25, 2011

Been A While

I've been detained for some time now.

Hopefully, I'll have something more meaningful to post in the coming weeks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ape After My Heart

L's sister and her husband are bringing their daughter down to our neck of the woods for weekly softball coaching.  Last night, they stopped by to hang out for a bit before heading home.

We were sat around my kitchen table, them enjoying burgers and fries, and all of us enjoying shakes (I have to admit that McDonald's has really stepped it up in the shake department).  After they ate, the adults talked, and my niece asked for some paper.  L brought her some along with my colored pencils.

The girl LOVES to draw, write, and read.  As she was drawing a picture of Mario, she noticed that the paper had print on the back of it.  "This paper is used," she said.

"It's scrap paper," I said.  She looked at me funny, so I elaborated.  "It's paper that we already used once, and we saved it to write or draw stuff on the back so both sides get used before we throw it away."

She flipped over a few sheets, some of which contained old versions of my dissertation, until she came to the basic skills exam that we give our future elementary ed teachers.  It's based on 4th, 5th, and 6th grade math.

"Ooh, pick one for me," said my seven-year old niece. 

After looking, I found one and made the numbers smaller, so then we all sat around helping her read and work through the problem.  She had trouble understanding the need to round up to whole packages of things (she's is only 7), so L gave her another example with packs of gum.  Once she understood, she wanted to move on to something else. 

"Pick another, pick another!"

So while I continued to chat with her mom, L taught her fraction basics, even giving her really tricky scenarios and word problems.  She had so much fun, and it made my heart go pitter-pat.  She wants to spend some of her summer finishing her first grade math workbook. 

See?  Math can be fun.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Primate at Peace

Heavy-duty construction is taking place on the street the math building faces.  Power, internet, water, the works.  The torn-open street will be closed until August.

Due to the construction, it's loud on the bottom and second floor on the front of the building.  Hence, the department booked rooms in other buildings and scattered across campus for summer classes.  While it's a small chore for the professors, it makes for a quiet building.

I don't hear students dragging their feet down the halls.  I don't hear them blabbing too loudly to whomever on their phones.  The building smells like books and paper - like a library with freshly waxed floors - instead of like summer b.o.

The professors I meet in the halls seem...more relaxed, even happier in some cases.  Maybe they are enjoying getting out of the building, walking the campus before the day gets too hot.  Trapped in a classroom or an office all day, it's easy to forget how beautiful the grounds are and how lucky we are that the tornado missed the university.

Before long, we'll miss the sounds of the vending machines, the elevator, the flipflops, and heavy sighs, but for now, it's peaceful.    

Friday, May 27, 2011

My neighbor's gardenia bush is blooming.  It perfumes the entire street, and when I walk by, I close my eyes and feel as though I float.  I want to bury my face in the blooms, absorb the scent and take it with me, keep it with me.  It's just not possible.  In another week, the heat will take its toll, but come autumn, it will bloom, and again my street will smell heavenly. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Like to Graph It, Graph It

You may have done The Worm, The Robot, and maybe even The Macarena, but have you ever done The Graph?  Kudos to Mister x2 + y2 for thinking outside the box.  He's the only identified dancer who isn't a function.  (x2 + y2 = constant is a circle.)  While he's not mathematically significant, Mister Crap gets a point for flexibility and reach. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Industrious Apes

I've seen commercials for "Go Build Alabama," but I had no idea that Mike Rowe was devoted to a country-wide quest to encourage young people to go into a craft or trade.  This is amazing, and he's absolutely right.  College isn't for everyone, and we badly need skilled craftsmen to keep the world we enjoy working.  Being a craftsman isn't a "boobie prize."  One day soon, it will be a prestige. 

For more information on his programs, visit

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's not as funny, if I have to explain it, but her tan lines are part of the graph of the tangent function.