Where does the time go?
When last we journeyed through realms of perilous wonder, I unveiled my mad scheme to go back to college and get a degree. This summer I turned mad scheme into bold action, taking not just one, but x+5=7 algebra classes.
Each class condensed a semester’s worth of knowledge into a five-week period. While I was able to keep up with some fiction writing beneath that workload, unfortunately the blog languished this summer.
It’s the 21st century. Why can we not implant knowledge directly into our brains, Matrix-style?
Me: Whoa…I know algebra!
Master Algebragician: Show me.
And show him I did. I scored well in both classes–a great feeling after being out of school for so long–and put myself in good shape for College Algebra, which starts today.
I even made the surprising discovery that I like math.
Math and I are traditional enemies. During both high school and my previous attempt at college, taking an algebra course was akin to locking myself in deadly combat with a clawed and tentacled flesh-eating math-beast, with a rage written in the very lightning that flickered across dark and boiling clouds.
Not only that, a lot of the homework seemed silly, with no utility in the real-world:
Algebra Word Problem: Dirk Steele, renowned two-fisted pulp-action adventurer and philosopher, has uncovered a forbidden treasure hoard consisting of nickels and dimes and valued at $8.25. If he has 7 more nickels than twice the number of dimes, how many of each type of coin will inflict an ancient curse upon him?
Me: Uh…can’t Dirk Steele just sort the coins into two piles and count them? I mean, really…
Now that I’m back in school, I’m considering a degree that requires lots of math. I figured it would work out better if I could self-hypnotize myself into liking it more.
Self-Hypnotizing Me: Math is just like sitting down and doing puzzles or something…you know, like Sudoku. I like Sudoku. Therefore, I like math.
Enemy of All That is Math Me: Uhh…yeah…whatever feeds your zombie, dude.
It turns out that Self-Hypnotizing Me was right. Doing algebra homework was a lot like solving puzzles, and I enjoyed it enough that I decided to pioneer a new realm of dark mathematics.
Behold the algebra of the damned…
A suave and sophisticated vampire who brushes his fangs regularly and has great check-ups can drain the blood from a victim in 10 minutes. A wild and unkempt vampire with bad breath and a broken fang can drain the same victim in 15 minutes. How many minutes would it take them to drain the same victim if they worked together?
Sometimes it’s amazing what a change in perspective can do for us.
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Has a change in your perspective made it possible for you to achieve a goal that seemed insurmountable before? And just how many minutes would it take the two vampires to drain the same victim if they worked together, anyway?