# Math Saves the Day: A Nerdy Tale of Unrequited Love

October 6, 2012

I felt out of place, like an imaginary number in a denominator. I was looking for my conjugate; after all, every complex number has one. There was one guy, one who wasn't a complete third deriative. There was one problem though, staring me in the face. It was like a vertical asymptote, as far as I traveled, I just couldn't get aroud it. You see, I was about as defined as 8/0, which is to say I wasn't. My only interests were math and science. And the boy? If opposites attract, he was my inverse function. His interests spanned to infinity like a trignometric function with no hole, point or jump discontinuities. He was indeed the numerator of the sine of me.

It was hard to even cross paths most days; I felt like I was a polar substance and he wasn't. Besides, he had a group of girls following him everywhere, who, like halogens, were willing to bond with pretty much any substance. He, however, was a noble gas, selective to a fault. It seemed hopeless, but something inside of me still said, "There's gotta be a point of intersection somewhere." I just had to solve the system of equations.

I made matrices of all our comparitive statistics: height, GPA, BMI, ACT scores. Using row eschelon reduction, I discovered exactly what I needed to do. I simply had to multiply my GPA and BMI by .9, reduce my height by 1.45 centimeters and get a 37 on the ACT. I called my best friend to share my discovery. She was not as elated.

"You can't get a 37 on the ACT. The maximum score is 36. It's impossible to shrink, especially that precisely. You'd have to get three Ds to reduce your GPA that much, which would put you below the standard for Harvard and your BMI's too low as it is. And I thought you were smart."

It was then that it hit me: Math couldn't solve all my problems! Oh, my third grade teacher was going to hear it from me!

"Well, I guess it's hopeless then," I said, my thoughts going back to the vertical asymptote analogy.

"No, no," she replied, "Right now, you're a tangent line to the boy in question. You want to become a secant line, right?"

"Yeah, that makes sense." By being a tangent line, I was guaranteeing we were headed in the same direction. We had the same slope, which minimized points of intersection. And that was about as boring as the first math problem on the ACT.

"So what do you need to do about it?"

"Find the instantaneous slope." I started determining the coefficients in my head. What exactly would his equation be?

"No, you need to approach a point on the curve-"

"Find the limit?"

"No. In layman's terms, by approaching the point on the curve, you're finding a common interest. You know, an infinite amount of points make up a curve."

"And an infinite amount of qualities make up-"

"Not infinite."

"Well, thanks for the help. Looks like math has saved the day yet again."

Now I could start on my homework.

Math seems to have a language of its own and I've found a lot of math concepts have double meanings that could be applied to a teenager's life.