Pi(e) and Cookies

As I have been sharing lately, there have been so many new experiences and things to learn in a new [to me] country.

This month, I experienced the first day of Autumn on March 1st (up until now, I had only experienced Autumn in Canada – and in September).

I also recently found out that Labour Day is an annual holiday here – like in Canada – but isn’t necessarily a holiday in Autumn.

Across Canada, Labour Day allows for a long weekend at the beginning of September right before the new school year begins (another difference – the new school year starts at the end of January here in Australia).

From timeanddate.com I learned that the date varies across states and territories in Australia, resulting in a total of 5 separate Labour Days across 3 different months each year.

So I also wondered if Pi Day (March 14th or “3.14) – a circumference celebration of ‘mathletes – is also recognized here.  

I found out it is international and celebrated here in some schools…but March 14th is written as 14.03 here in Australia and Pi = 3.14?

After being taught to write the date – Month, Day – in Canada, I am becoming accustomed to the opposite – Day, Month – in Australia. Seasons are opposite, and driving is on the opposite side of the road, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised?

However, I did find another math day that is celebrated (wait…you mean math isn’t celebrated every day?) – and one that acknowledges the Day/Month custom 🙂

The 22nd of July (22/7) is considered the Approximation of Pi Day (because of the fraction created when writing Day/Month). 


Besides sharing my obvious love of nerd trivia, I want to highlight how people use “Pi” and cookies to help fundraise for non-profit organisations.

In honour of Pi Day 2014, I thought I would repost the following “Order of Pi” memory from my charity spotlight page March 2013.

Pi – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter – reminds me of a math story book Sir Cumference and the First Round Table” and my time as an elementary school teacher.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 7.20.44 PM

I wasn’t aware of Pi Day until surprised by a school visit from the Order of Pi. Although the I expected the first couple of years teaching to be challenging, I wasn’t expecting a pie in the face!

I enjoyed hearing the Inquisitor read out the charges – and then I heard my name…I can’t remember the charges but I was found guilty and deserving of the farm-fresh wrath of a cream pie (a fellow teacher paid $20 to lay charges against me – and the only way I could escape judgement was to offer at least $5 to the Counsellor). I was ‘executed’ with a ‘sacred pie of justice‘ from the ‘bakery of righteousnessin front of my students in a school assembly 🙂

If interested, you can view recent information on the “Order of Pi” here 

Each year, the University of Victoria’s Engineering Student Society pull together the Order of Pi as a humorous and tasty fundraiser for children’s charities like the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Mustard Seed.

You can donate freely (without fear of pie execution) through Canada Helps (here).

Pie + math + fundraising = a delicious day

But…what about cookies?

C is for circumference and for cookie:

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with an amazing women at The University of Victoria who was not only an empowering role model through her work as a PhD student in Engineering […I wonder if she ever joined her colleagues in the Order of Pi?– but she was also (and probably still is) a leader for Girl Guides.

This month I chose to highlight the fundraising efforts of Girl Guides (…and their delicious cookies-of-circumference-perfection) on my charity spotlight page (reposted below):

My childhood was enriched through experiences as a Brownie sprite and then later as a Girl Guide. I remember learning how to:

  • braid with liquorice
  • sending a case of cookies with my dad so he could sell them at work
  • selling cookies door-to-door
  • camping
  • obsessively collecting earning all the badges

Hmmm…I don’t braid with candy or sell cookies anymore…but I will be camping next month – at the zoo (see February 2014 charity spotlight) …and as a life-long student…I am always striving to earn just.one.more badge of achievement…

– Fun times with a friend and posing with my brother –

Now when I think of Girl Guides, I picture cookies […it’s not just me, right…?].

I also proudly think of my cousin who grew up to be a “Brown Owl!”

…speaking of owls 🙂 …here’s some of my favourite owl photos
(York, UK – July 2013)

When packing for my move from Canada to Australia, I found my Brownie doll! I happily sent her to my “Brown Owl” cousin and her daughters.

I recall seeing my blue sash of girl guide badges too..in a box..in Canada [...hi my name is Tracy and I used to be a packrat] and I hope to pass that on to them too one day (…the sash of badges…I promise not to pass on the packrat tendency…).

Happily passed on my Brownie doll to my “Brown Owl” cousin and her daughters

Be on the look-out for my cousin as she leads her daughters and their troupe in FUNdraising… because it is cookie time in Canada!

Here in Australia (http://www.girlguides.org.au) …we have to wait until May. I look forward to supporting Girl Guides here in Australia (and hope the ‘biscuits’ taste as good as the Canadian cookies!)

This month, I encourage you to support your local Girl Guides by buying cookies since the funds go to supporting events and programs aimed at “enabling girls and young women to grow into confident, self respecting, and responsible community members (quote from @girlguidesaust).

Cookies + confidence + caring communities = a great recipe!

So next time there’s a knock on your door…
the Order of Pi may be on the other side…or a troupe of Girl Guides.
Either way, I hope you will open the door 🙂

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