Depressed, My favorites, Nostalgia

Why majoring in math seems like a lot of work

I packed up my boxes today. They totalled 312 lbs of books, blazers, and broken electronics. And two old math notebooks. One was from Number Theory and one was Algebraic Structures/Mathematical Modelling. They were about 50% math notes and 50% other shit. A sampling of the other shit:

1) Hand drawn maps of the USA, Europe, and South America.

2) The plot of a dark comedy about a man dealing with the fact that he is having a baby (It took me forever to figure this out because all it says is: Preggers -> Parents -> Childhood (Sit on swingset) -> Social life -> Job as cleaning out medical waste -> is at hospital that his wife as baby at. Goes into room, takes off uniform while holding her hand.)

3) Rough draft scripts of old plays and sketches

4) Made up maps that symbolize my friendships with trade routes and borders.

5) Concepts for writing prompts for Bad Comedy auditions. (Hooker Waiting room, All end with “I’m thinking Arby’s,” All petting zoo animals, A Confessional Booth)

6) A ranking of my favorite math classes

7) The sentence: “as, oh shit. as n approaches … larger…infinity values… y’know.” (I don’t know what this was supposed to be)

8 ) Lines from a play I was in

9) An analysis of basketball statistics that determined that Jason Kidd and Dwayne Wade were the biggest statistical outliers in b-ball.

10) A sketch that made fun of the “change and exchange” that happened at Macalester that ended with a person wearing a sombrero saying: “Aychiwawa.”

11) Many rankings of Bad Comedy scripts, sketch orders, and attempts at scheduling without conflicts. (I spent way too much time during class worrying about those shows.)

12) Notes for my actors in directing scenes. (My favorite: “Lobotomy from crankin’ it, swizzle sticks are ‘vibrators.'”)

13) Short pieces I wrote and submitted to McSweeneys only to get rejected. (My favorite has been posted here) (Other concepts include: “Letter from a 5th Grade Eliot Spitzer to his Teacher,” “Jobs That are Still Available to the Man From the Verizon Commercials who Says ‘Can You Hear Me Now,'” “Why You Have More MySpace Friends Than Me,” “Ways in Which Jim Cramer and Christopher Lloyd’s character ‘Doc’ from Back to the Future are Different,” [The only thing listed was “Hair.”] and “Request for Renewal of Membership to the Pen 15 club.”) (If any one would like to see any of these please ask and I will post them as a comment.)

14) A story about Brooklyn that I wanted to do as a braided narrative with my father.

15) Hilarious puns that I included in my Senior Capstone presentation on Piecewise Continuous Linear Regression.

16) Notes on forming “Win-a-date with Paul’n’Me.”

17) A story about my mom telling me to use condoms while in the middle of my high-school study hall class.

18) A list of 30 comedy movies (They’re not even my favorite 30, they are just 30 movies – I don’t know what I was doing.)

19) A poem about Ninja Turtles.

20) A hookup map

21) An intro sketch for a Bad Comedy show that involved each of the seniors being typecast (I was the Jew, Matt was the gay, Rhett was the rich person, and Cora was the pedophile)

22) Insurance information for when I crashed my girlfriend’s car.

23) A list of titles of sketches that I thought about writing that have to do with math (A few of my favorites: “Tony Danza and the Mathematical Time Machine,” “Stats with Hitler!” “I Know What You Did Last Math Class,” “Damn That Gardner: A Mathematical Musical,” “The Adventures of Batman and Gauss,” “Masturbation Kills: or i*i = -1″ and “Watchin’ Porn with Newton.”)

24) A to-do list (The entirety of the list was: 2:30-5:00 Math, 5:00-6:00 Dinner, 6:00-9:00 Clean up.)

25) And the very last thing in my last book was too symbolic not to share. I will now present you with the story I wrote in my last math class ever: (I remember the math theorem that is interspersed providing awesomely deep symbolism, but I don’t remember what it means now)

I spent the last half an hour of math class in my life writing this story.

I have wanted to be three things when I grow up in my life. When I was four years old I started to understand the concept of growing up and getting a job. I decided I wanted to be a tap-dancer. In second grade we studied Egyptians and Mayans and I decided I wanted to be an Archaeologist. In fourth grade, while playing with basketball cards, I conceptualized the idea of a basketball statistician. Since that day, I have wanted to be a statistician.

The looks you get as a fifth and sixth grader telling people you wanted to be an NBA statistician when you grow up are a mixture of shock, confusion, and inadequacy.

Thm: <GF(p^n)*, *> is cyclic

I write this, in the last half hour of the Algebraic Structures class I am forcing myself to pass in my final semester of college at an elite private liberal arts school knowing I don’t want to be a statistician. I’ve spent four years getting a math major and stats minor. I have taken as many math classes as my college would allow me to take. I have helped a professor write a text book. I have had a prestigious internship where I analyzed numbers in order to help large conglomerate corporations make more money. My professors like and respect me.

GF(p^n)*~= Z p^n -1

I don’t want to do math anymore. I don’t want to spend these last 30 minutes staring at a whiteboard trying to translate the scribbles and numbers into language my brain can understand. I’m going to be a comedian.

=> n1 > p^n -1


=> n1 < p^n -1


n= p^n -1

This is my fourth career desire. Hopefully this will be my last.


3 thoughts on “Why majoring in math seems like a lot of work

  1. Pingback: My bored subjects are prolific posters « Graphic2$ summed up

  2. Pingback: Momentous digital things « –scott’s blog–

  3. Syreeta says:

    I started loving math in 12th grade AP calculus only to realize I didn’t want to crunch numbers for a living spring semester my senior year at mac. I think I am going to rank that wasted time just under “syreeta’s slutty phase” in my biggest regrets list.

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