Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
James 1:2-5 NLT
The partial definition of algebra in the title gives some light into my current state of mind. Not that algebra is causing my boredom, but definitely a lot of my frustration. I get the concepts to a degree. But the most annoying thing about algebra is how much time it takes away my pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I can honestly say that concerning logic I have little interest. Where’s the romance? And “the properties and relationships of abstract entities” sounds like political jargon. The root of algebra literally means “the reduction”, which makes sense because my homework is always asking me to reduce and simplify. I wish someone would reduce the need for an English major to take any math, but then my Math major husband would ask why Math majors have to take English courses. I concede.
Now I have to admit I was surprised to come across a math concept called imaginary numbers. Ha! I knew it, there is no purpose to algebra, it’s just a very confusing fairy-tale and in the end hopefully everyone will live happily ever after; unless it is a tragedy and everyone dies. We may be getting somewhere here.
I keep trying to find meaning in this pursuit of numbers, symbols and operations of arithmetic. I like to discover spiritual metaphors in my learning adventures. With math I think the key correlation is perseverance, which leads me back to my previous discussions of how we live in the midst of the mundane. Some things just have to be worked through, and the joy may only be found in the completion of the task.
Math is not all bad, I was able to help a friend triple and then double the tripled recipe recently. And I’m pretty sure I must have used some algebraic finesse to do so. At least my friend was impressed, and the rolls she made were delicious. I told my voracious bread eating son to pace himself- only three rolls at a time.
Well, I am going to watch the best commentary I’ve found so far this year on the election campaign-SNL sketches of the candidates.