Artist's Studio



Unfortunately I was not a good pupil in my youth. All I could think of was escaping from the confines of school. Now I realise my mistake and the missed oppurtunities, and that Education is the most precious of all gifts.

My association with Universities has brought me into contact with some marvellous people, and I now understand the essential relationship between Teacher and Pupil. Knowledge is the essence of our Civilisation. Without the Teacher passing on the great accumulation of knowledge that we now have, we would all go back to groping around in the dark. The only way forward is through teaching and learning.

My good friend James Dalgety has a collection of 10,000 puzzles; he is the world's leading expert, and his collection is a treasure-trove of ideas. I went to see him to ask his advice about the game called Solitaire. I knew one way of solving the puzzle, but were there other ways ? James produced a book that showed many different solutions. Then proceeded to show me a way of solving Solitaire using two hands, removing two balls at a time, ending up with one ball in the centre !

There was one tree in the garden of Eden that was forbidden to Adam and Eve, the Tree of Knowledge. I constructed a tree and on it I hung the Forbidden Fruit, Knowledge, in the form of silver balls.

The pupil is dependent on the teacher. If you don't believe me, try solving the puzzle Solitaire, two balls at a time, with two hands. It is easy when you are shown how !

©Mathematics and Knots/Edition Limitee 1996
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