math is cool
when i was in high school, there were a number of things i hated. for example, ineffective hand dryers in the school bathrooms. and how there was never any soap in the soap dispensers (i went through a phase where i carried around a bar of soap in my backpack so that i could wash my hands properly at any given time… but then my bag got all slippery inside so i stopped) (i guess i didn’t know what hand sanitizer was). but of all the things i hated, my number one enemy throughout my whole adolescence was: math. math. MATH.
my dad once said to me, ‘if you’re so good at sudoku, why are you so bad at math?’ my talent for numbers don’t stretch far beyond celebrating an impressive word count on microsoft word. i don’t have a natural knack for geometry or logarithms or sin/cos/tan or even how to work a graphing calculator. i once cried in math 12 because i failed a test and also because my belt broke on the same day and it was my only one. after high school, i vowed never to do math again. never. n e v e r. i was convinced that math was the most disgusting thing on the planet.
and then i met jill hayes. jill is a math major who often makes me grilled cheese sandwiches and tea. recently, she began working on her final project for her geometry class. she calls it ‘the nature of geometry: finding the beauty of mathematics through geometric representations and functions in nature.’ using photos taken by our friend farisia, she shows how math is actually all around us and how it can be a beautiful thing. observe:
i was so impressed when she showed me these pictures. i even got to watch her make one in real time just the other day! it was amazing. she’s like a math wizard. what’s even more amazing is that talking to her and hearing about her classes and seeing her project makes me start to change my mind about math. it’s crazy, but she almost makes it sound like…. fun??? and numbers and graphs can be… beautiful??? i feel like math has always been that dark corner of the house that nobody likes, but jill just throws open the windows and lets in the light and says, ‘look at all the possibilities!!’ there’s nothing quite like being around someone who loves something to help you see that thing in a new way. maybe math isn’t so bad after all.