Being the mature, civilized sophomore I am, I make sure to spend my entire math class diligently drawing penises in my notebook. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t seem to understand math anymore. Oh sure, I used to; when knowing your times tables and how to borrow got you an A. But recently, for reasons unknown to man, math got so much harder over the years. What was once multiplication became long division; simplified equations were suddenly linear expressions. Before we knew it, students across America were pressured into learning “Quadratic Equations” and “Cubic Polynomial Functions.”
Today I witnessed the most complicated math problem ever done by anyone, ever. I forget what the actual equation was (It most likely involved a numerous amount of variables as well as a few exponents); all I remember is that the answer read “The square root of the square root of X minus five, minus five.” Graphed, for you visual learners, the equation looks roughly like this.
It’s not like I always despised math. In 8th grade I had the coolest math teacher ever: Mr. Grieco. Not only did he make learning fun, but 15 minutes in his class saved us 15% or more on our car insurance [ziiNg]. I was amazed by how much I learned in his class, as well as the good grades I got.
This year, as well as last year, math is a little more boring. We just sit at our desk, taking notes and trying not to fall asleep. And because of the pure boredom emitting from my high-pitched teacher, I began to slack off and pay less attention. And thank God I did! Because when I pay attention in class I hear things like this:
In the beginning of this year, my math teacher promised my class that the only was to find numerical sequences is by writing out all the possibilities. For example, if I was told to figure out how many ways 5 friends can sit together in 5 movie seats, I have to write out
ACDEB . . .
This is why people do heroin.
Not only does this equation take the equivalent of two college semesters to figure out, but it disregards all possible variables, like, for example, the fact that friend “C” and friend “E” are going out. Equations like this would take me forever to solve, and fed my ongoing hate for school. “Ugh,” I would moan as I rolled out of bed in the morning; “I have to go to school and list possibilities.”
Well today, I was fascinated to discover that this exact same problem can be written in a simple function:
No, it’s not an exuberant five, it is called “five factorial” and it is equal to 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1, which is the answer to the same equation that once took me 14,000,000,000 days to complete. This is good though, because now I don’t have to write out all 120 possibilities, and can spend my class time on more important things. Like drawing penises.