I’m writing to you before the weekend so you have time to plan for Monday. Why? What is special about Monday?
I’m glad you asked.
Get it? 4 x 4 = 16. Monday will be square root day!
Thanks to my friend Suzanne who sent me a link to this tshirt saying, “It is some mathy thing. I thought of you,” we can all be ready and excited to celebrate.
In case you’re wondering, “Wait, what? I’m confused.” A square is made when you take a number times itself.
1 x 1 = 1 (January 1, 2001 was the first of this century)
2 x 2 = 4 (February 2, 2004)
3 x 3 = 9 (March 3, 2009 and we begin to realize this isn’t going to happen every year!)
4 x 4 = 16 (Monday!!)
While we get to celebrate Pi day every year, we won’t have another Root Day for nine more years on May, 5, 2025—which seems forever away, doesn’t it?
So, let’s make this day count. You might wonder why? Why talk about these mathy things? Because math has gotten a bad rap. Too many boring math teachers, I’m guessing, who didn’t embrace the playful side of math.
This is what I love about life: mystery and playfulness are all around us. Let’s cheer each other on in noticing.
I will admit, a holiday that encourages eating pie is a bit easier for people to get on board that one where the food is . . . root vegetables. But we are up for the challenge, aren’t we? Here are four ideas I’ve got four ideas for you (get it, 4 is a perfect square! Moving on.)
1. Eat root vegetables. Okay, our family may be a bit geeky because we have had several conversation about what is root vegetables and what is not really a root vegetable. I was very excited that I could eat French Fries in the name of math fun, until we learned potatoes are technically tubers. Next idea we had was to eat candied ginger and ginger snaps. Yum. Only problem is ginger is a rhizome. I know, I know. Root Day, you are NOT helping by having so many rules :)! Both are considered in the “Storage Root Family” according to Wikipedia, so I think you can eat potatoes and ginger and be squarely within the spirit of the law, if not the letter of it.
You cannot go wrong with: carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, dandelion (what?!), radishes, bush potatoes (close enough of me, even though I don’t know what it is), and jicama. Here is a root vegetable soup that looks good.
2. Use square things. Do you have square napkins, plates, mugs, glasses? Use them. How about square cards to wish loves one Happy Root Day? Square bars of soap? I’ve been known to give them as gifts on someone’s square birthday. Be creative!
3. Share your roots. One of my favorite quirky parts of living in China was when a Chinese person would see my name before they met me. Without fail, when we met, there was a look of shock and more than once, “But you’re not Chinese, why do you have a Chinese name?” Young/Yang, is not only Chinese, it’s also Scot-Irish. Top of the morning to you :). Ask 1, 4, 9, or 16 people what their roots are and tell them you are asking because it is Root Day.
4. Be a little mathy. This video will teach you some square root tricks! Get ready for your next party.
At the very least, be amazed at how God has woven mystery and playfulness into most nooks and crannies of this world. Days like Monday let us pause in the midst of the messy middle of life.
What are you going to do on Monday for Root Day? I’d love to hear about your roots in the comments :)!