Patterns and Transformations

8 Jul

Origami tessellations are created by taking one piece of paper and using only two types of folds to create a repeating pattern. Often, the shapes need to be twisted into place in order to flatten them out. The method regularly used is to draw the pattern on a sheet of paper, crease all of the lines and then fold the paper into the finished design. Here’s one of my first attempts:

See how some of the edges don’t quite come together? There are some places where I didn’t crease quite right or attempted the fold too many times and weakened the paper. Lots of mistakes, but not bad for a first try. What I learned from it was to be more precise in my creases and more conscientious of the pattern I was trying to create. After a little practice, I tried another pattern:

Of course, it’s still not perfect, but much better! I was more conscious of the shapes I was forming and took the time to use a folding bone (a hard, flat utensil that creases paper better than a soft fingertip) on each of the creases. The point of all of this? Had I done the same thing with only the conscientiousness of my first attempt, it wouldn’t have come together as well. I’ve heard it said that to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result is insanity. If we keep making the same mistakes and expecting a different result, we are destined to fail. This lesson can be applied to lots of life situations.

In high school, my friends and I often went out to eat after school on Fridays. We’d head over to any of the great places in the neighborhood where you could get a slice of gooey cheese pizza, a sandwich bigger than your mouth, or a juicy, greasy burger. I’d laugh, chat and rarely think about the kind of food I put into my body. I just knew it tasted good and I was having fun. As a result, I gained weight all throughout my high school years. There were times I’d try to eat better, but I’d inevitably end up back where I started, making the same mistakes.

After my surgery, I knew I’d have to be more conscientious about changing the pattern for good. The problem was that I still craved those fast foods, and while much of that has dissipated in four years, there are still times that a burger and fries sounds like the greatest thing ever.

So I have one.

Pictured is my dinner from last night. A bison sirloin burger cooked medium-rare and weighing a little less than 4 oz. (a total of 118 calories!) It’s topped with a slice of juicy summer tomato and about an ounce of shredded mozzarella. The “fries” are sliced parsnips tossed in olive oil, lemon thyme, green onion, salt, and pepper which I then spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about a half hour (and yes, they really do taste like french fries).

Now before anyone gets on my case about the medium-rare ground meat, let me note that I bought the bison sirloin steak whole and ground it at home. In my mind, it’s no different than cooking that whole steak medium rare. Had I used store bought ground meat, I’d probably go to medium-well.

In the end, it’s all about making the decision to pay attention to the patterns and being willing to change them if they don’t work out. It’s well worth it.

Have a happy Tuesday all!

One Response to “Patterns and Transformations”

  1. Tedi July 9, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    Neen I love your blog! I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes…that pic of those “fries” had my mouth watering.

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