Saturday, March 14, 2020 feels like a very long time ago. As I’ve said before, some of my favorite Pi Days of all time have been on Saturdays, including, of course, 3.14.15, the Pi Day of the Century. So I had naturally been looking forward to it, as I’m sure you were. But alas, instead of marking another great moment in the story of our favorite number, 3.14.20 marked one of the first moments in a new and not-so-great story that, a year later, isn’t quite over.
In many ways, the last year has felt irrational, full of randomness, and, if nothing else, infinite. While these are the qualities that we celebrate about ol’ 3.14159, they’re much harsher to face in the real-life form of a grinding global pandemic. I have personally been fortunate not to experience very much hardship as a result, nor to lose anyone close to me to it, and my heart goes out fully to those of you who have. If boredom and monotony feel infinite, then how much more unending are the feelings of grief and loss?
But there’s hope. Soon we’ll be able to go out, gather, and do silly and superfluous things again. Maybe some of us are already there, but for many of us, Pi Day 2021 will come and go quietly on a Sunday, without much of a trace. For those of us still stuck in neutral, it’s my hope that teachers, kids, and number lovers all over the world can pause on Sunday to smile, hum a Pi Day carol or two to themselves, and look forward to the end of this seemingly endless string of digits, er, days that we don’t ever want to relive or recount.
We need the nonsense of Pi Day — in our classrooms, in our imaginations, and heck, even in our hearts. And when Pi Day 2022 finally crests the horizon, let’s never forget the feeling of having to leave a couple of pages blank in the journal of our favorite number. Let’s cherish the pages we can fill in. Let’s make Pi Day, and every day, count.
With infinite love for Pi and all of Pi’s friends,