Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bowl Me Over

I went bowling yesterday for the first time in a long while. When getting our shoes and paying for our games up front, the chiquita at the desk asked for all of our names so she could input them in their system for us. We were 12 people so one less thing standing between us and bowling sounded good.

We get to the lanes and find that the desk in the center has been replaced by a computer screen. Not only did the computer screen already have all of our names, but, we soon learned, the computer automatically KEEPS SCORE!

You go up and bowl, the lane talks to the computer and tells it how many pins you knocked down. Then after your second ball, it tallies your total for the frame. If you get a strike, spare or split, you get a cute little movie on the screen.

Now for all of my friends who believe math is hard (and you know who you are), this is probably a dream come true. No more need to tally scores and compute strikes and spares. Come to think of it, I'm guessing my "math is hard" friends are also probably the least likely to go bowling in the first place so maybe this was never a source of stress for you at all.

Personally, I have fond memories as a child of bowling with my family (my folks were avid bowlers) and learning how to do math by scoring the bowling games. It was a physical activity coupled with some mental stimulation.

Ten plus the next two balls. Ten plus the next ball.

It was a math exercise. And even if I was a crappy bowler as a kid, I was often distracted from this fact by rushing back to the desk after my turn so I could fill in my score with that short little pencil with no eraser.

No such luck for my kids. The computer has taken over.

I'm guessing there's only so many times I can have them count the number of balls in the ball return.


seemaxrun said...

Oh you know this is part of the patriot act, if you ever run for office your bowling score may very well count against you but you will need ten forms citing the freedom of information act to see it yourself. Bowl accordingly. [wink]

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