Math exile


This is where I’ve been sitting a lot this weekend:

and doing homework.

Homework is infuriatingly hard.  Basically, none of the stuff in the textbook makes sense to me because I never had Calc II, which they assume you know.  So I’ll try to start solving a problem, see that there is no help to be had in my notes, read the textbook, read the second textbook, read the third textbook, and, as they say in Russian, smotret v’knigu, videt figu (looking in a book, and seeing nothing.) Then I Google around, and a point of clarity starts to occur to me, because on Google they actually explain mathematical economics for people who have not taken a math class in 4 years or so.

Then, Mr. B hears me thrashing about and comes up to help, because he loves math, double-majored in math, and this is his leisure reading table at any given time:

“What’s giving you problems,” Mr. B asks nonchalantly, and I give him a 20-minute sob story about how I am stupid and don’t understand anything and I’ve never had a class this hard and I’m dropping out, like, yesterday.  He reads the part in the econ book that corresponds to the math explanation.  10 minutes later,” Oh, that makes sense.  This is the answer, and here’s why.  And here’s why the math.”

He always tells me that no one has real talent, you just have to work at it.  No bigs.  Everyone can do math.

I think I’ll use my non-talent in English to write a novel about wives that throw things at their husbands.