I was in fourth grade when I realized I hated Math. We were learning about factorial and all those crazy things about fractions my mind would never dare grasp up to now. I actually am still at awe as to how I survived elementary, even graduating with flying colors.
In high school, one of my classmates asked our Algebra teacher why do we have to study Algebra, and what are its real life applications. I remembered he said, “Kung babagsak ka sa Algebra, hindi ka magse-second year, hindi ka makaka-graduate ng high school, hindi ka makakapag-college, hindi ka makakapagtrabaho”. To this day, I think that was very “pilosopo” of him. (What’s the English term for pilosopo?) Maybe he doesn’t know as well where the fuck we’re going to use it in the future.
In college, I survived Algebra through the help of my Math whiz blockmate, Alfred Norte, who topped the board exams, by the way. He helped me in my Algebra, while I helped him in his English. But I do believe I benefitted more from it.
I know what you’re thinking; this is going to be a post about how much I hate Math and all its complexities and how all I hear are garbled words coming out of my professors’ mouth every Math class.
Math is precise.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the thing I LOVE most about Math is that it’s accurate. It would tell you you’re wrong if you are, and would definitely give you the value of “X” if you did the calculations precisely. “Precisely”. I certainly love that word. Its accuracy would never make you ask questions again; unless of course you didn’t get the solution the first time or you want to defend your wrong answer.
Math is rational.
For some people like me, Math is just so effing hard. I don’t get the reason why I have to find the value of X’s and Y’s and all the other letters in the alphabet because I thought Math is all about numbers, right? But at the end of the day, if you follow all the rules and do all the solutions right, you’re going to get the answers. Math will never let you assume, will never make you “paasa” or think “is he giving me mixed signals?” It will never care about how you feel.
Math is brutal.
I will never understand professors who give half scores though, like if you showed your solution but your answer is wrong, you still get a 0.5 point. I mean, I know I benefitted from this, but thinking about it now, that’s like a half-truth, which is also a half-lie if you’d ask me as it defies Math’s rationality and accuracy. Math is black and white. There are no gray areas, but why are we making it complicated? Zero kung zero, 100 kung 100. Brutal.
Looking at Math in a different perspective.
But even if I try hard to look at Math in a different perspective, at the end of the day, I’d always hate it. Math and me, we really don’t go too well together. Even if I’m rational, logical and brutal like Math, I would always assume, question things and wonder about people sending mixed signals, because I can never be a Math equation.
If all the questions clouding over my head can be answered by “f=m x a” or even the more complex formulas though, hell, I’d try my damndest best to answer them. Or you know, I could always go and try to find Alfred. He’d give me the right answer.
P.S. Side A’s So Many Questions is playing on my playlist as I type this.
“So many questions, but the answers are so few. All I really know is I love you.”