Monday, December 07, 2009

Random Walk, Take One

I've got a few photos to share from yesterday's inaugural random walk, sponsored by Algebra al Fresco. In all we had 16 different people take part (never more than 13 at a time), including three members of the general community who found out about the event through local advertisements. Good fun!

First, a demonstration of some of the equipment we used to help us plot our course:

Four-sided dice led the way at each four-way intersection; traditional six-sided dice directed us (with two values for each route) at three-ways. Only once or twice did we have to flip a coin for "either/or" choices.

It being a rather chilly morning (about 30 degrees Fahrenheit at the outset of the walk at 10:15), an early consensus decision was made to stop at Izzy's Coffee Den on Lexington Avenue, where walkers warmed up and partook of toasty caffeinated beverages:

Out on the road again, we stopped at every corner to conference on our next move. One person would roll, and another one or two, before the roll, would call the directions, pointing: "1, 2: that way...3, 6: that way...4, 5: that way..." It was a genuine group effort.

I don't know why La Donna's laughing in the picture below, but she's always laughing at me about something. ("You look goofier than me," she tells me. She's probably right.)

Pauses, though by necessity frequent, were never long, and we were soon on our way again. Below, we stride confidently down College Street, Ino (one of three of my Calc I students to show up...way to represent, y'all!) leading the way.

By my reckoning we took 38 steps, visiting 22 distinct intersections. Of these intersections, 11 were visited once, 6 twice, and 5 three times (none more frequently than this). As anticipated we never strayed off of the map of downtown Asheville I'd printed out for folks to follow as we walked. The furthest-flung intersection we ever reached from our starting point at the southeast corner of Pritchard Park was eight blocks to the east, the roundabout at the corner of College and Oak.

I'd be happy to provide readers with further statistics upon request.

All in all, it was a great social event, a good way to get some exercise on a brisk and beautiful late autumn morning, and a fair bit of nerdy fun. For sure there'll be another in the spring!

1 comment:

Swales said...

For next time, we need to have Random Encounters happen during the Random Walk.

"At the corner of Lexington and College, you encounter two angry Orcs! Roll to dodge."