From poet Chad Anderson’s “Like Math”:
And I said, “Words, what are words when I love you like math?”
And she said, “Like math, is that how you think you love me?
You love me like….”
I said, “I love you like math,
Infinite and exact…”
Most days, the word hate isn’t in my vocabulary, mostly because I’m not quite sure I have ever understood the sentiment. And yet, I have uttered the phrase “Math, how I hate thee” (or something among those lines) far more than anything nice about math. Up until this semester, I couldn’t imagine how I would ever get along with math.
Though hate hasn’t kept me away from mathematics, but an inability to work several math problems step-by-step, on my own. I never met math at the finish line; we met halfway (like the Black Eyed Peas).
At Simon’s Rock, one semester of math was enough, and after many stumbles, I lived through Elementary Functions. Over a year later, I face Elementary Functions again, this time under the name of Pre-Calculus. And if Pre-Calculus and Claudia manage to become close to buddies, maybe Calculus will be my next scholastic friend.
But that another math follows is for certain, as certain as is the notion that this semester, math is finally remembering my name–or rather, I get it! This semester, I’m learning to hush the English major’s nagging voice to over-complicate the numbers and instead use the visualization perspective. My math sessions are filled with color, outlined by reasoning, and collaboration from my study group–and the occasional hysterical out-bursting.
No one ever told me talking out math could make people giggle. No one ever said, “Hey, the way you explained that makes sense. You should be a teacher.” And that’s where the occasional hysterical out-bursting of the day arrived.
I eagerly wait for the future days in which I teach not the logic of numbers, but the logic of expression…. or well, whatever logic poetry follows.