Thursday, July 19, 2012
Some thoughts on math, or why I'll never be an efficient waitress
They were right, and I was terrible, but I would like to take this opportunity to say that my problem was not mathematical, it was synesthetical.
People accept as a general truth that a nice thing about numbers is their universality.
And I am here to tell you, friends: that is one cruel misstatement of reality.
As a general rule, there's little difference in my head between French and English:
In both I can dream, swear, ruminate, babytalk, argue, bake, bargain, joke, gossip, and tease.
But hell if I can do math.
As long as I live, I will never be able get my head around the idea that
seven times eight (pictured up top)
and sept fois huit (pictured below)
both come out to 56.
How is that possible??
It will never, ever make sense to me.
Right there is the real reason I am self-employed: I can take all the time I need to make sure that cinquante-six and fifty-six really are the same thing. As you can see from the calculations pictured above, I'm still dubious.