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Math and me

February, the love month, always reminds me of my unexpected affinity with math.

Back in elementary school, I found it hard to understand why I had to learn about math’s complexities. I was wont to believe that I would encounter math wherever I went every day.

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There was a part of me hoping that we would always be off-tangent, that we would meet only once in our lives. I wanted math out of my life. But things turned out differently. I guess our vertices were inevitable.

So I had to make friends with math. I embraced her being odd, constantly demanding to be the center of attention. I also accepted her irrationalities—the root cause of a lot of our misunderstandings.

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It was in February 2008 when I decided that I would focus my attention on math. Four months later, upon entering college, I was thinking about her almost every night, understanding and analyzing her complexities.

At first it seemed surreal, but it eventually became so real.

Many were puzzled why math seemed to have many exes and whys, and why she couldn’t solve these on her own. I realized that with the bulk of the problems she had, she really needed someone to help her solve those. And I was there by her side to help her.

That’s when I started getting to know math much better. That’s when I started learning to like her. That’s when I started growing an affinity with her.

We went to the same classes together. We studied in the library together. We spent time with each other as never before.

I’m glad that math and I met, that we didn’t experience the same fate as parallel lines: No matter how far you extend them, they will never cross paths. No chance to get close to each other; no chance at all to get to know each other more.

This month, my relationship with math gets even stronger. Nine great years since college! One year closer to infinity!

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I never imagined falling in love with math, but I’m thankful I did. While everyone is celebrating the love month with their partner, I am happy enjoying math’s company.

 

John Patrick F. Solano, 25, holds a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and is currently a reinsurance assistant at First Life Financial.

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