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How to Train Your Metrics

I’m here to tell you that at this point I’m less than seven hundred and fifty words from hitting the ninety thousand word mark, which is something I hope to do tonight.  I’ve already worked out the numbers and if I hit ninety thousand tonight it will take me twelve days to do ten thousand words.  However, on one of those days I did not write, so the actuality is I hit ten thousand words in eleven days once again.

And if you do your math, you’ll see that all have eleven more days to reach the end of the year.  It is entirely feasible that before midnight on 31 December, 2016, I’ll hit a hundred thousand words, and all I really need to do is write close to a thousand words every one of those eleven days.  So that’s my goal: it a hundred thousand and kick back as we slide into Armageddon.

Just kidding on that last one.  I hope.

After the run I have last night I look at what I have ahead to excerpt and realize I could stop writing the rest of this week and still have excerpt material.

Do the math once again and you'll see I'm not lying.

Do the math once again and you’ll see I’m not lying.

As of right now I’m close to seven thousand words up on what I’m excerpting below.  It’s actually kind of nice not feeling like I’m rush to get something written so I can show it to you.  Because when you rush you make mistakes, and I hate making mistakes.  I hate screwing up anything, but when it comes to my writing I tend to get pretty anal.  Fortunately, I’m in a section of the story that I’ve thought out for several months now, so I don’t have to fear about screwing up.  At least not in the usual ways–

If today it seems as if I’m speaking of math a lot, there’s a reason.  Because today’s excerpt has a lot to do with math.  It also has a lot to do with growing up–and in particular how one student of Salem has taken to that term literally…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie and Kerry stopped and turned towards the student who called out to them. Neither tried to look surprised, but both felt they failed miserably. Kerry spoke after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. “Hi, Emma.” He tried to not look her up and down but could tell by the look on her face that he failed. “You’ve—changed.”

“Uhuuuh.” She hung her head. “I know. I was hoping you wouldn’t say anything.”

In the last few months of their B Levels it was obvious that Emma was growing taller than the rest of her classmates. While both Annie and Kerry had each grown nearly three centimeters, Emma had started off school year slightly taller than Annie but left school nearly five centimeters taller—and her growth spurt hadn’t stopped. While Annie and Kerry had grown another five centimeters over the summer, Emma was now at least eight centimeters taller than Kerry and ten taller than Annie, while at the same time she moved beyond the tall, lanky, awkward stage and move directly into becoming a young woman stage, with her hips and breasts filling out as well.

Annie did her best to make Kerry’s wingmate not feel so self-conscious. “You look good, Emma.”

The ginger girl from Boulder rolled her eyes. “I look like some kind of mutant. I’m the tallest kid on my floor: I’m even taller than the boys.”

Kerry smiled as he shrugged. “It’s not that bad—”

She stared down at the floor. “That’s because it didn’t happen to you. Last night everyone was looking at me so strange…” She sighed. “The only thing that kept me from crying most of the night was having my dormmate there. I didn’t want to embarrass her.”

 

Yes, if there is anyone who needs a growth spurt, it’s Emma.  She’s at that point in her life were her puberty is driving her upward–literally–and, as pointed out, she’s turning into a young woman.  One has to wonder how this is going to affect her social, because now that everyone is turning fourteen boys her age, and even some who are older, are gonna notice this ginger girl from Mórrígan Coven.  Maybe she shouldn’t of worn that Ginny Weasley costume last year.

And as we discover this change is all about genetics.  It’s all about finding one of Kerry’s pet peeves, too:

 

Annie moved closer so she could speak in a softer tone in an attempt to put Emma at ease. “At our age this is likely to happen. Kerry and I grew as well.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t shoot up four inches in six weeks because your parents aren’t freaking Amazons.” She calmed herself, fearful it looks like she was making a scene. “Both my parents are tall: my dad’s five-eleven and my mom’s six-one. I’ve been hoping for a long time that I wasn’t going to take after them, but nooope, I not only follow in their footsteps but so does my sister.” Emma pointed at Kerry. “She’s as tall as you.”

Kerry decided to stick to simpler, more direct question. “How tall are you now?”

Emma gave a half-hearted shrug. “I’m five-seven, but—”

“One seventy.”

“What?” Emma rolled her eyes. “Seriously, are you gonna bust my ass now because I didn’t use metrics?”

Kerry turned serious. “We’re C Levels: you shouldn’t be using Imperial measurements for anything.”

Emma crossed her arms under her breasts. “I’m just talking to you two.”

Annie touched Kerry’s arm. “If we use measurements when we’re talking, we always use metrics.”

“Uh, huh.” Emma’s shoulders slumped. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

“It’s going to be if Vicky smacks one of your proficiencies again.” He reached out and grabbed Emma by the arm. “Come on.”

 

Now this next part is something that I’ve actually had in my head for the better part of a year, and it sort of checks out as a quick and dirty way of approximating converting from Imperial to Metric.  So, for you Imperial snobs who think that Metric stuff is just too weird for you, I’m gonna show you how to at least figure out your height using the Metric system.

And here we go!

 

Kerry.” Emma didn’t resist is leading her toward the benches near the south end of the Rotunda. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to teach you something I should’ve taught you last year.” He glanced at Annie—who had not said a word about his actions—then turned back to his wingmate. “This is a quick and dirty way to estimate height and measurements in the metric system. You ready?”

Emma considered walking away at this point before noticing the stern glare that Annie was giving her and decided it would probably best to stay. “Sure.”

“Okay. Here goes.” He took a deep breath and let it out as so to clear his mind. “Twenty inches is approximately 50.75 centimeters. That means forty inches is about 101.5 centimeters and sixty inches—which is exactly five foot tall—is…?” He held his hand out toward Emma, expecting her to answer.

She didn’t need to give it much thought. “152.25 centimeters.”

“Right. It’s actually a little more than that, but we’re estimating here.” Kerry realized he was using his hands as he spoke but he didn’t mind. “Now, an inch is 2.54 centimeters, but since were estimating will say it’s 2.5 centimeters. That means two inches is approximately 5 centimeters, so we can now use that get to the heights over any of our twenty-forty-sixty points. You’re five foot seven, which is sixty-seven inches. Six inches is—” He looked at Emma with raised eyebrows.

She picked up on his hint. “15 centimeters.”

“And adding another inch would make that?”

“17.5 centimeters.”

“So if we add that last to 152.25 centimeters, you’re going to get—?”

Once more Emma did the calculation quickly. “169.75 centimeters.”

Kerry gave one slight nod. “And since we’ve been estimating a little on the low side, be sure you always round up to the next quarter at the end. And when we do that the final number is…?”

Emma responded with the correct number immediately. “170 centimeters.”

A large smile appeared upon Kerry’s face. “Care to guess what five foot seven is in centimeters?”

A puzzled look appeared on Emma’s face as she turned to Kerry to Annie and back. “A hundred and seventy centimeters?”

Annie chuckled. “Close enough.”

“Really?” Emma looked at Kerry with half closed eyes as she gave her head a slight shake. “You’re kidding me.”

“It’s not that hard.” Annie remembered something that Kerry missed. “And if you want to convert to meters you move the decimal two places to the left. That makes 170 centimeters—”

“1.7 meters.” Emma turned to Kerry. “That’s all there is to it?”

Kerry nodded. “That’s all there is to it. So I don’t expect to hear you using Imperial measurements anymore.”

 

See?  That’s all there is to it.  Emma’s good with math so she can rattle is often her head without a problem.  For the rest of you might take a little work and maybe even whipping out your phone and pulling up the calculator app.  But the above cheat system checks out: I even used it to estimate Annie’s and Kerry’s height.

And speaking of Annie’s and Kerry’s height:

You know I have it worked out.

You know I have it worked out.

In case you’re wondering who Veronica is, that’s Emma’s little brat of a sister–who we now know is not that little.  Why is she included here?  For one, Emma told Kerry her sister was as tall as him.  And two, you’ll hear more about her later.

There is also a bit of an amusing story as to why I put this section in, and I may touch on that tomorrow.  Because today I’ve laid out a lot of stuff and you probably don’t want to hear about the discussion I had over two years ago.  But you will get the story one of these days–

Along with a lot of other stuff.

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5 thoughts on “How to Train Your Metrics

  1. We went metric in New Zealand years ago … I hate it.

    Metric can really only ever be approximate. Eep? Okaaaay … ten feet, say—divide by three, then multiple back by three … ten feet. Boom boom!

    Now do that with ten metric anythings. Divide by three, then multiply back by three … and if you get your original ten, you’re better than moi ‘cos all I ever get is nine point nine nine nine nine nine something …

    (And if the CT folks are correct, imperial was based on reality but metrics on a French official ‘best guess’ and they were wrong. The world is apparently not a sphere but sort of eggy shaped …)

    • The Earth is really a lot like a lumpy orange that’s molding: stuff is all over the place.

      Okay… 30 meters divide by 3, multiply by 3 = 30 meters. And on my calculator it works with 10 meters, too.

      I give my one friend a hard time about metrics because it somehow freaks her out. I taught myself all the conversions back in the way early 70s because science fiction had moved in that direction and I wanted to know what they were saying.

      • Ooops … perhaps I worded it wrongly (dum’ dog~!) but try again with just one metre, and this time (ha haaaar, gotcha!) do it longhand with pencil and paper rather than a modern calculator. I think I’ll go chase a cat, my brain is hurting …

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