Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dry with a High Probability of Mathematics

The last few days haven’t been exceedingly exciting. Not a whole lot that is blog-worthy has taken place, which is why nothing has been posted for the last few days. Well that’s part of the reason. The other part is because last night I finished my proof at 11:37pm, and blogs take me about an hour or so to put together. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to be up until 1 in the morning writing about how I have nothing to write about. And besides, then it gets confusing; do I write as if it was Saturday or Sunday? You can see why I decided to just wait until this morning to write this. So although the title should give a pretty good idea of what my past few days have been like, here’s a more detailed overview.

I ended the last post on Thursday, after exploring one of the greatest issues that mankind has ever faced. No one can say this blog isn’t philosophically thought-provoking and important, confronting the great issues of the day. On Friday, I decided to begin the process of proving the various formulas that I have created for the integration of certain families of functions. I think I did that pretty much all day. Now before you judge, let me defend myself! Yes, I did math all day. I’m sorry. My father questioned this, making the perceptive comment that “It’s summer! You’re not supposed to be thinking.” Huh. Now first of all, that’s not a very good attitude to have. Let’s say I go out to eat at a restaurant during the summer months. Many of you may point out that I’m too busy with math to do anything remotely enjoyable, but just go with me on this. It’s hypothetical. I enjoy my chicken fingers (which anyone who’s ever gone to a restaurant with me can attest that I order every time, regardless of the restaurant) and then take a look at the bill. I see that the cost of the food is 20.00 (again, this is purely hypothetical.) Now because it’s summer, I have no motivation to think, so why bother figuring out the tip? I happen to have an extra $1 bill, so I toss it down and happily leave the establishment. The next time I eat there, I am bewildered to find that my chicken fingers have a strange, unpleasant “background” taste to them… the taste actually reminds me of the smell of a garbage disposal…

Second of all, math is fun for me. Now this may be hard to understand for many people. “How can he enjoy something so excruciatingly painful and dry?” I ask most of my friends a similar question. Why in the world do they find roller coasters and other such rides fun? I hate them! I’ve never been on a roller coaster in my life and never intend to change that. Roller coasters are frightening, yet people seem to enjoy that. While I admit that mathematics has never given me an adrenaline rush, this is the best comparison I can make; everyone enjoys different things, and most likely, one of those things will be hated by most other people. And besides, everyone has that one secret nerdy thing that they enjoy doing. Whether they have a calendar that has a different random fact each day, get books from the library with titles like “Parallel Universes” or “UFO’s: Top Secret,” or once sat on their bed for an hour while learning to say the alphabet backwards, everyone’s got something. At this point, I’m also choosing to ignore the fact that, as I’ve done everything on this list, I probably have a bit more nerdiness than others. That’s not important. What is important that by the end of Friday, I was frustrated because I could not get the proof to work. The two sums at the end shared the same ratio, but were not equal. I found that I somehow needed to work in a (k+1)(k+2) term. But, alas, that would have to wait. My girlfriend was coming over and we were scheduled to watch Good Will Hunting.

If the people around you reading this are laughing and you’re confused, that would be because Good Will Hunting is a movie about a kid who’s a janitor at MIT, but is a natural math genius more brilliant than anyone there. I swear that this is purely coincidence; I do NOT usually watch feature films about math. And besides, the movie is not really about math at all. It’s much more about the main character, Will Hunting, and his overcoming his fear of getting close to other people, having been abused and abandoned by his parents at a very young age. Just felt that was important to point out.

Saturday rolled around and it was my brother’s birthday, which meant that I got to eat Dunkin Donuts Munchkins for breakfast. Any guesses as to what I did the rest of the day? If you guessed math, you’re right!!! By the time that my grandparents had come over for my brother’s birthday party, I had done it; I had figured out how to get my needed term into the final sum. And the way to do that was by not magically deleting it from one line to the next. Yeah. The reason it was missing was because I actually had it in one line but forgot to copy it over to the next. So because I didn’t check my work, I had done hours of math for no reason. Not that I’m complaining. I finished the proof, as aforementioned, at 11:37 that night. I went to sleep afterwards. Duh. Sorry for making you wait until today to read this. So now I’ve gotta go and prove my next formula. Hopefully this time no terms will vanish between lines.

One final note: I hate mosquitoes. I woke up this morning with like 10 mosquito bites from last night. They’re awful. See, that proves liking math does not make me inhuman; when it comes to mosquitoes, I’m just like everyone else >:-O

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