Making Patterns Out Of Chaos

For years, I’ve been blaming the wrong person. 


For years, I have been teasing EG Dad about his need for structure and order.

Clearly, our 17 years of non-fatal co-habitation shows he has mellowed over time, which has been good for him. Because there are very few neat-freak, organised perfectionists who can survive in a family of evil genius without succumbing to a bit of their own chaotic evil genius. 

It has been a huge sore point; to be completely honest, it still is. I am not a neat person. I often refer to it as organised chaos.

But today I realised there is actually a lot of pattern to my madness. 

I would even go as far to admitting… I think I am the one who is obsessed with patterns, and not EG Dad obsessed with order. 

*gulp*

I love finding patterns in anything. To me, it’s the easiest method in problem solving. Look for the pattern and then analyse the bejebus out of it. 

Sounds very mathematical doesn’t it? And yet, ironically I was told at school I would never succeed at math; I had too much humanities and not enough logic. 

This year, Sinister is in year 6 OC (gifted program) and the homework aid usually falls to me, mostly due to time availability. And I’ll be honest: I am more self-conscious this year, with those long-ago voices rearing their ugly heads again.

Just last night, Sinister asked for help on this one:


This is for test preparation and thus, time is of the essence. 

Now, for what it’s worth, the answer is D–36. Congratulations if you had that. 

Last night, there was no chance in any potential reality for me to have even guessed it right. 

But when I looked at it this morning, I sat down … And looked for the pattern. Calculate corners. Break it down to a smaller model. 

And I had it!

And then I looked around at my messy home, and realised even in my chaos, I can see the patterns. Which is why the mess never seems as bad to me as it does to others. 

The patterns soothe me. Like stanzas in poetry. Like Shakespeare’s spoken word. It is a musical flow that resonates with me, even to the point of observing and manipulating others. 

Both my mother and my high school math teacher had it wrong. My humanity did not exclude me from mathematics. In fact, it was a direct result of a core concept in mathematics: pattern recognition.

I’m not saying maths will solve every human-related issue, but I now have a new way to approach homework this afternoon. 

I’ll be more confident. I will show a better way to break big problems to smaller problems to identify the patterns. I will show them better ways to build patterns from there, and thus manipulate their results. 

How?

Let’s start with a game of Qwirkle and see how I go.

“MUM!! Look what Dad did to the Qwirkle tiles!!”

Oh yeah, and back to blaming the other guy. Can’t let the spawnlings know all my quirks. 😉

2 thoughts on “Making Patterns Out Of Chaos

  1. Finding patterns in chaos is a skill vastly under utilised I should know it’s how I made a bloody good career before deciding to relocate home & practise being retired (that’s code for unemployed)

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