Saturday, April 6

Confessions: I Could Have Been a Math Major

DISCLAIMER:
This is not a dig at people who enjoy math, who have degrees in math, or jobs related to math.
It's just me being snarky and slightly honest.

Sometimes people ask me why I'm an English major.
They're like "Oh, do you want to teach?"
I don't really, and I can't help but think that if I wanted to teach, I'd be an education major.
But English is just something I enjoy and that I'm good at, and I thought reading books and writing essays for four years would be alright.
Yep.
But I'm also good at math -- or at least I was about five years ago. 
Haven't taken it since then.
I'm taking it now.
And I love it.
But the thing is, I just couldn't do math for four years.
Well, maybe I could have, but I don't think I'd have liked it.
Mostly because of Geometry.
Just not my thing.
In high school, my math teacher begged me to be an engineer, but I hate Geometry, so that wasn't really something I wanted to do.
I finally got him to stop telling me that by saying that if I did become an engineer, all I'd make is roller coasters and he'd have to test ride all of them.
That worked.
But I used to be really good at it.
I could solve small-ish matrices in my head, I still can foil quite a bit mentally, and stuff like that.
I'm surprised my professor hasn't gotten on me yet for not showing a lot of my work.
I might take more math next year, just to fill up empty space in my schedule, but next year is pretty much anything I want to do, so maybe I'll take some math. . .
Maybe I won't.
Heck, maybe they'll offer an equestrian class.
That'd be fun.
But don't think I don't like math much because it's hard.
No, that's part of why I like math: you have to figure it out; it's not just memorization.
I mean, English is hard too.
You try remembering what the Great Vowel Shift was, or how Proto-Indo-European converts Greek and Latin to English and stuff.
I like a good challenge.
But I have to admit that math has a one-upper on English as far as I'm concerned.
In English, you can read things pretty much however you want, but in math, 2+2 always equals 4.
I like that.
Consistency and concreteness is cool.
(And that's ^ alliteration.)
There's just one thing I don't really understand about math.
I mean, English majors learn how to think critically, and that's a skill you can use anywhere.
Math majors learn how to think analytically, and that's a skill you can use anywhere.
But I just don't understand why we learn some of the stuff we do in math.
Isn't a lot of that more theoretical than applicational?
Theoretical's totally fine, really, but . . . isn't applicational more useful?
I mean, under what circumstances would somebody need to know this?
I'm not being snarky here, I swear.
This is an honest to God question.
Is this like a real thing?
I've got the concept down fine, I'm just curious.
Other than teaching my kids someday.
If I even remember it that long.