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June 4, 2011
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Mathematics has been around for millions, even billions of years. Mathematicians, however, have never found a constant value for the variable x. Every value for x I calculated seems different from the last value of x that I calculated. Eventually, I began to realize x is logically not a constant though the repetitive appearance it appeals itself with. Though x is indeed a variable, its true personal value varies from person to person. Realizing that, I started my quest of finding x.

As an Asian, finding x is easy.

From the moment I wake up, I would anticipate math class. While going over the math lesson from yesterday and the extra work I did last night in my mind, I would have my math symbol cereal for breakfast. After, I pick up my binder and begin to walk to school. For every step I take, I would recite one decimal place of pi. When the longed math class begins, I would maximize every single one of my senses to absorb as much as the teacher would teach. After I swiftly finish my assignments, I would ask the teacher for more enhanced work to quench my cravings. The teacher hands me a work sheet for AP Calculus BC though I am only in grade nine. I smirk at the first question as I solve the algebraic riddle by isolating one side and use my polynomial knowledge to cancel out two pairs of coefficients and their respective variables. Feeling accomplished, I move on to the second question. Suddenly the bell sounds. I sigh with disappointment that I did not get the opportunity to complete more work as I walk out of the classroom.

It is clear that for an Asian, finding x is the process of discovering the passion for math that’s hidden deep inside of every Asian by literally ‘showing your work’. Finding x is nothing but another question to be solved with brain power for Asians. Being the one who deviates from racial stereotypes, however, finding x has another layer of meaning to me.

As I confidently walk out of math class towards the already crowded hallway, I shake off all the shred of eraser I got on myself while doing math. I roll my shoulders, causing my hood to escape my shoulders and fall loosely onto my back so it does not cover my neck. I get to my locker and brags about my fun upcoming class to my friends while I open my locker without looking. I tell my friend to text me after school while I grab my books. I shut my locker, lock it, and leave for class. As I rush through the congested hallway, I smile and greet several peers. I settle in Spanish class as I greet the teacher with Spanish phrases without the slightest inappropriate intonation as if my first language was Spanish though it is my fourth. As I pour out Spanish phrases with ease and without mistake, I anticipate my play rehearsal after school. The bell rings and I hurry to my locker to drop off my stuff. My buddies walk up to me and ask me if I can hang out after school. I reject them sadly and head to the theatre. Rehearsals begin as stage lights shine on me as I jump on stage and start to sing, dance and act. While I take in my role completely, I appreciate the opportunity for me to express my interests other than written work. Rehearsals end and I call my mom for a ride home and speak to her in Chinese as other cast members look at me with cocked eyebrows. I happily walk out of the school replying to the dozens of text messages I have received since rehearsals started that I couldn’t respond to.

Having an almost-CBC(Canadian Born Chinese) background, finding x could also be finding true happiness in what I do. Compared to doing painstaking and frustrating math questions to achieve a high mark on a math test and be proud of it, I would rather do some extracurricular activity that I would be proud of in the end, but still would enjoy and appreciate the actual experience.

Mathematics has been around for millions, even billions of years. Mathematicians, however, have never found a constant value for the variable x. I, however, have found my personal value for x. That discovery, however, will change; because a variable will always be a variable. My quest of finding x continues.

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