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Math and Words This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I am not a fan of math. There is no softness to it; a page full of problems is as sharp to me as a drawer of knives. Everything must be just so. There is only one answer to any question. It's not like language, not like English. You can't wiggle in math or turn things round and round until a number becomes an equation or some part of your human soul. Math is soul-less.

Math is hard, desolate, and full of nightmares. Even the symbols look threatening. The square root sign leers at me, daring me to look inside its lifeless box. I turn in fear and a wall of x's rises up, their identities unknown. A tangent prods me in the back, wanting me to go on, but I can't. I flee, leaving my homework behind on the bed.

In class, the fog lifts. I feel like a god, manipulating the numbers and variables as I wish. In my triumph, I slip, blink, and it feels as if I were gone for a year. On the board, numbers and letters laugh at me, shapes twisting and rendering my brain mush. Incomprehension jumps on my back and drags me down, drowning me.

The bell is my lifeguard, and I am saved. I flee, running to the safety of words and war. I can live the life of any other person, animal, or plant that someone writes about. Words allow me to be a butterfly, a blade of grass, even Thoreau's transparent eyeball. Whitman can encourage me to lie nude in the grass as I build empires of air. Dickinson can be at my back and offer me glances at the divine solitude of her soul. English is my peace and my heart.

The terror of math is everywhere, though. Science laughs at me over its glasses and long pages of words that burn no lamp in my soul. It traps me, leaves me stranded in a dipole world, suffocating me with thick, heavy gases. I stop, I shiver, I turn inward.

Words fly from the tip of my pencil onto sheets. With these words and thoughts I make my bed and determine what my future will be. I pour my heart and mind and soul into squiggles of roundness that stretch across huge spaces only to curl back around me like a nest. It is in words that I find my center.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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beyondtheskyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:57 pm
YES! Just YES! Some of best ideas have come to me while avoiding the terrors of calculus:)))
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm
This is great. Hey, some great TI work has come from not paying attention in Math. I mean, as long as you're not planning to be an engineer and you get good enough grades . . . I greatly dislike math and I had an awful teacher. Good job!
KaylaMc716 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm
I totally agree with you, finally someone understands! Math for me has always been a weak spot, english has always been MY savior :)
peace_love_beauty said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 11:09 am
Someone needs to learn to appreciate math. ;D haha
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