So what has happened since my last post? Two big things:
1.) I did a maths degree and it was the best thing ever
2.) I got diagnosed with long-term illness, and that is definitely one of the worst experiences in my life.
Umm. We’ll start with my degree then? (Which I am sure you are all keen on! But it’s cool I swear). So… maths! Turns out it’s a lot cooler than I thought. By the way I am talking about theoretical maths here – the stuff mathematicians like Pythagoras did – and it’s awesome. It’s hard to explain but it’s let’s say… you know how you hated mental arithmetic and and solving word problems etc but didn’t mind simplifying expressions like x+2x (since it is literally 1 + 2), yeh the latter is sort of a dumbed down version of what theoretical maths and why it is a lot more fun than those word problems i.e. Applied Maths. There are a few reasons I love maths and here are some of them!
1.) It is very logical. Every line of maths has a justification – either it is the definition or you’ve added x to both sides of an equation for example, which completely works – you are never left in the dark as to ‘why was that possible?’ ‘what’s the point in this?’. If you are, this is not maths! Another thing, is that it is all done in a step-by-step manner, which if you’re a simpleton like me – and hate multi-tasking – you will love. It’s ‘just focus one thing and then move on to the next and focus on that for a bit (ok sometimes days, but stress is what makes the reward of understanding even better)’, and it is almost therapeutic as it is so detached from the world.
2.) There is no ambiguity. Do you sometimes hate how you will say something completely innocent with good intention to someone, but they take it the wrong way? Well, no fear, MATHS is – ok, that’s too cheesy. You won’t get this in maths. A beautiful thing in maths is that any two people will read a maths statement and have the exact same understanding being on the EXACT same page. And I think that’s a comforting thing – to know that, you and 100 other people in your lecture room, ok, they’re probably not paying attention either – hypothetically!, are united precisely in your brains by this tiny statement for those few seconds. And that anyone who reads your work won’t have a negative opinion about it (assuming it is correct – which is easily achievable with practice). No judgement, no arguments; just objective understanding. On that topic of arguments, I will quickly add that trying to comprehend a complex mathematical proof with your friends that you’ve been going over for days, is one of the most enjoyable things. Each of you strengths to bring the table and any point you make will be backed by maths, so no one can argue with you. No brutality; just a learning experience where are you are working like the avengers, or some superhero group, to defeat this proof’s beastness.
3.) Everything is proven. Nothing is ‘I think’ or ‘we deduce from..’; it’s we KNOW, we (there’s no other needed synonym, but it needs balancing, right?). Mathematicians won’t take ‘this formula worked for all the scenarios I tried therefore it is true’ for an answer. It needs rigorous mathematical proof. And I know what you’re thinking; ‘what the heck is a proof?’ (we did show that questions in school, but they get much deeper than that). And it is very difficult to give you an example that will interest you and show you the variety that you get with proofs. So that brings me to, if you are interested, looking online at introductory undergrad maths notes and going from there (it should be free). Also, once you’ve tried that, if still interested, there are some good books online. A particularly good one, with some easy proofs is ‘ What is Mathematics?’ which you can find on Amazon. It actually helped me with a question in a calculus exam which no one else could answer. But anyway, I hope you give it a go. If you enjoy logical thinking, I highly recommend it; it really doesn’t start off challenging – it’s like false hard work.. you’ll see! It’s quite unfortunate that they don’t teach this in UK schools, because had I not had an older sister who did this degree and persuaded me to do it last minute while I was apprehensive and that I should have done Economics (‘yeh, it’s good, you’ll like it’), I would never have discovered this whole world, which just happened to be what my mind was wired by, and was there my whole life, but didn’t realise it. UK Govt, change your syllabus, or at least have extra classes for those who might like it!
Anyway I will talk about number 2 (hint) perhaps later on as I have written way too much here. Um have a good day, week, whatever! Thanks for reading. Check out maths too!!
P.s. You can also see how I have lost my articulacy and wittiness, and am super-boring and grown up now. I was looking into Alice in Wonderland, which was the last book I read in three years ago in first year and loved, and turns out Lewis Caroll was a mathemtician at Oxford who was really awkward around people and was more comfortable around kids (eehhh let’s not go there!). Perhaps I could relate to Alice and her want of finding logic in all things. And reading the first few pages again, I really could! Anyway I’ll stop now. See ya