a brief description

I began to teach string figures as a way to reach students who didn't "like" math. It was a great deal of fun for the students to "goof off" in class and make interesting designs. What they didn't count on was that it took dedicated effort and practice to become proficient at making figures. It took a focussed exactitude in performing a series of complex steps. This is exactly what it takes to become proficient at math and science. But the bottom line was that they truly enjoyed the experience and they all, repeat all, succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

In 1986 my younger daughter Nomi was born. That year I took a sabbatical from teaching and went to school to learn about using computers in the classroom. I arranged my schedule so I went to all my classes on Thursday. All the other days I took care of Nomi. Her mother worked full time. I met Jeff Wang in one of these classes, and he took photos one day for my use in promoting string figure studies. Some have names, some have formulas, some have descriptive references.

Robin Moore was a student in the school who was a budding photographer. I asked her to take some pictures and this is the result.

Later in my career at La Guardia other students took pictures. At this time I was also experimenting with stretching my figures onto nails strategically patterned onto boards. It took some time before I was able to "guesstimate the positioning of the nails after forming the figure on my hands and carefully laying aside while I formed the frame.

I also taught on weekends and during the summer at Prep for Prep, a special school for preparing young minority sixth graders from the public schools of New York for entry into the prestigious private schools where they were given scholarships and follow-up help through the rest of their secondary education and throughout their college careers.

The other menu choices speak for themselves.

You may purchase my book on string figures at amazon.com. search under james r murphy.