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Dear Mitch,

Our school is still out on Spring Break, but it would be great if you could reveal the answer to the St. Patrick's Day balance scale problem now, while they are still working on it (or so they promised!!).

This way, if you just give the answer, I can still check their work to make sure they know how to arrive at it on their own, and the ones who did get it already won't have to wait for another week to discover they got it.

Also, what ever happened to that "mystery guest" you were going to introduce, who  was going to answer questions about math anxiety and numerology?

Mathematics Department Head,

Dr. J. Dulcime

D-Town, Georgia


Dear. J. Dulcime,

First, the answer to the St. Patrick's Day problem is eleven.

It would take eleven framed pictures of the Leprechaun on the right-hand side of scale C to balance its left-hand side, which contains one toy cake and seven Shamrocks.

The answer to your other question is a bit more complicated.  The potentially new member of our team and I, after a great deal of discussion, decided that she would join this site when we handle issues of "math anxiety" and stress many students and their families feel surrounding standardized tests in general.

Her other area of expertise, numerology, we (she and I) agreed, is fundamentally different from all other topics we have so far investigated on this site.  While it has a long-standing history, which attests to its legitimacy in many parts of the world, it is, in the United States, still typically regarded as an interesting and challenging way of playing with numbers and, used in that way, can produce a number of interesting and thought-provoking lines of reasoning.  However, since, as I mentioned, she is a dear friend who I highly respect, it was important to me avoid doing anything on this website that would compete with the blog of her own she was about to begin (and has already begun).

So, in a nutshell, as they say, we will officially introduce this person when we begin to specifically cover the area of math anxiety and standardized-test phobia -- two of the half-dozen areas in which she is well-known and widely respected as an expert.

Next time I will reveal the address of her blog, so that anyone interested can visit it and explore numerology with her in a deeper way than would be feasible on this website.

Hope this helps,