Thursday, August 11, 2011

Math and language don't mix. (数学は言語には似合わない。)

I mean really.

Or maybe it's math and East Asian studies. Anyone out there an East Asia/Mathematics double major? I'm just looking to be shown the light over here.

Because, well...

I was in higher level calculus in high school. The highest mathematics course offered by my high school, in point of fact, and I did very well in that class--without any unreasonable effort on my part, I might add. Sure, there was homework, which admittedly was something of a first for me outside of essays and summer projects, but that was more a product of the teaching style (which was not bad by any means, simply intense) than my lack of comprehension (which could be remedied by asking questions in class, ten times out of ten.)

Why am I saying this?

Because the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE (or the practice thereof, at any rate) is kicking my sad behind.

My only consolation is that I am, in the opinion of  at least a few people, slightly more attractive than this man despite my confusion.

My understanding of geometry and algebra have devolved to be about roughly on par with my understanding of modern Swahili.

... or maybe not. I think I did pick up a few words of Swahili thanks to any number of examples in introductory linguistics.


I cannot help but think that I was not really being all that clever when I maneuvered around my college math requirement by taking a computer science course.

... admittedly, it was a very interesting course which I enjoyed despite having a lab on Friday afternoons. That's saying something, that is. I doubt I would have felt the same about any traditional mathematics course, and no mistake.

And then again, perhaps in my knowledge-cramming sessions for my two history courses, my brain felt rushed and decided that it was easier to simply purge this (seemingly) useless information in favor of these newly vital facts than to bother with rooting around in storage and making more space the sensible way.

Thus, I now have extensive knowledge of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi's (possible) syphilis, the Battle of Sekigahara, China's troubled history of attempting to conquer Korea every time it had enough people to do so, the Rig Veda and so on... all that the cost of trigonometry, angles, and what the hell I'm supposed to do with π

... and what do I do? I write to you lot about it when I could be attempting to cram more numbery things into my head. 

But really. I'm applying to East Asian Languages and Literatures programs. If I am required to be ridiculously talented in the mathematics department for admission, well... Let's just say I'll have a few words to say about the state of higher education in the modern world.


And come on, how many math geeks know a thing about the Three Kingdoms of Korea? Huh?

This is Edo, signing off trying to justify her own ignorance with righteous anger. 

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