Math versus Literature?

“Math – one either gets it or doesn’t.”

“Screw math! It’s not like I would ever need to use any of these ‘mumbo-jumbo’ again after graduation.”

What’s with the above?  They’re lies.  Or, self-denial statements made by a literature student. =]

There has always been this weird mentality that literature students are bad at math and the vice versa.  Math versus literature?  Things do not always have to stay this way.  In fact, this eonni/noona will tell you  exactly how I’ve passed with flying colours.

This is a graph that explains the level of sasaeng (obsessed fans) craziness depending on the popularity of the "musician" group. Imagine if you don't know how to read this graph because you just suck at math that much, then you would definitely be missing out a lot of informative stuff.

This is an “awesomely” drawn graph that explains the level of sasaeng (obsessed fans) craziness depending on the popularity of the “musician” group. Imagine if you don’t know how to read this graph because you just suck at math this much, then you are definitely missing out a lot of informative stuff.

Take this simple question as an example:  1+2*(3+4)-5*6+7(8-9)

Steps to take in order to solve this:

1) Imagine this is just a story with a well-defined world and set of characters.  Heck, even JK Rowling defines her Harry Potter world with rules and limits.  If you’re able to read through her stories and understand it, then you should be good enough to understand math (even the land of imaginary numbers).

2) Give the story a name to make it special.  This particular one is called The Love and Feud of Operations.

3) Now, let’s go through the adventure of each number.  1, here, is the leader type of guy and is quite aggressive in pursuing the amicable 2.  However, 2, being a good friend, wants to finish her phone conversation with regards to the party that her friends (3 + 4) has attended recently first before speaking to 1.  3 & 4 told 2 that the party was bad because grumpy 7 had shown up.  Apparently, grumpy 7 didn’t like the fact that his bubbly sister, 8, was in an abusive relationship with the second generation rich gentleman, 9.  Yes, 7 was totally there to crush the party.  Meanwhile, 8 & 9 were badmouthing 1 (thus negative 1), calling the lad an arrogant a**hole.  Through all this mess, 5 & 6 were just hanging out as best buds as usual and talked about where would they be when they turn 30 years old.

4) See the story to the end and you will find the ending is negative 22.  Doesn’t matter if you get the ending or not, because you would have to move on to the next story anyways before your math teacher calls on you to read all the stories out loud.

Seriously, this was how I passed math.  Of course, I had to rush the stories in practice.

Oh yes, literature students with either a musical or an astrological knowledge background might not need the above bs to pass math since these literature students would already have a good aptitude for the subject.  Of course, one might consider this method for inspiration purposes. Heh.

This graph is just here in case someone doesn't understand the first one.

This graph is just here in case someone doesn’t understand the first one – the melting state of ice cream as the temperature varies.  Seriously, I met one person who just didn’t understand how to read graphs no matter how (simple) I explained the concept to him.  He didn’t have any learning disability, he was just an average dude who hated math with a “sasaeng”-like passion.


4 thoughts on “Math versus Literature?

  1. That’s an interesting way of explaining it.

    I would also like to point out that the order of operations is taught by many teachers in a very cumbersome way. For instance,the acronym PEMDAS/BEDMAS. If you are in US, then you would learn PEMDAS, which tells you to do multiplication first, then division, and addition 1st then subtraction. however this is wrong since multiplication and division should be done at the same time and you will do it from left to right and the same goes for addition and subtraction.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The problem is that many teachers thought that it’s “obvious” so they didn’t bother to emphasize it too much. That’s where the confusion begins IMO.


      • Well, they ARE math teachers…so it is inevitably that these kind of concepts are more or less second-nature to them. Unfortunately, the students tend to suffer from the math teachers’ own brilliance. =/ btw, are you a math teacher by any chance? If students are taught to see math the way you do (somewhat like puzzles and games), then it would be much easier to for the students to digest probably even some of the most complicating math concepts. ^^


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