Vi Hart’s “How to Draw a Perfect Circle” had similar traits to Lockhart’s Lament. While Lockhart emphasised trial and error and exploration into concepts, the pen’s character and voyage for adventure hearkened to that same concept. While some may have thought it was frustrating to see the pen constantly fail or go against Vi Hart’s instructions, the end result sparked a eureka moment. I think I’ll remember how to draw a perfect circle because of the zaniness of the pen’s quirky deviancy.
I thought this video was clever in explaining a paradox. The supposed pi=4 illusion is easily explained by asking “what’s a circle?” That alone was simple enough to disprove this sophistry. I can’t help but make a connection to our course in making sure our arguments while (dis)proving something must be logical and not fall into fallacies.
I found this video to be creative and amusing. Our standard way of proving something is chalk on blackboard, this is just another engaging way in learning the Pythagoras Theorem in a more hands on approach. We’re not simply told this is true but shown; that and asked to try it ourselves!
Part 2: How to Draw a Perfect Circle
Initially I felt intrigued by the video, who wouldn’t like to know how to draw a perfect circle? Then I see this weird conversation between Vi Hart and a super determined pen. After various struggles from the pen I did feel a little bored, wondering “why am I watching this again?”
Vi Hart then interrupts the pen’s crazed state and simply shows us how to draw the circle in the end. While it was funny, the actual answer kind of came about at a halt. The video still did achieve that “aha!” moment, so that actual lesson in drawing a circle did click and stick in my head.
I learned to draw a perfect circle, although it’s not too different from most techniques out there (the idea of rotating paper isn’t new). I also frowned slightly when she drew against the natural curvature of her hand to draw said circle. Coming from a slight architectural background; it’s much better to draw with the natural curve of your wrist than go against it.
I don’t have any particular questions, it was a simple how to video. I would initially ask why the quirky beginning but that adds to the charm of the lesson.
Part 3: Lockhart
This video actually taught me something important about teaching; make it fun! Despite the dorky dialogue and zany frenzy of the pen; I bet kids would love a video like this. Imagine teaching a child a simple technique for drawing (whether it be for arts or graphs) and have it click in their heads in an engaging and humorous manner. It’s definitely teaching, but is it maths? Probably not. I can’t imagine it being super relevant to the work we’ll be doing in class other than working through our proofs and concepts.
As I talked about in Part 2; this reminded me of Lockhart’s Lament where he talked about trusting our youth to make mistakes through trial, error and exploration. The pen reflects that sentiment.
Your comment about the “the dorky dialogue and zany frenzy of the pen” really resonates with me – I do think that making the lesson into a conversation, and putting into characters’ mouths, gives a way for more people to relate to it. We like stories! I also really appreciate your comment about her eventual drawing technique – thanks for bringing the architectural perspective here, as person with little experience in graphic arts that opens my eyes a bit to the practice of drawing. Great!