Emilie—Solving for X and Y
Wow what a weekend! I don’t think I’ve had a busier one in my life…and it’s only one of the first of many. Friday afternoon after our shifts were done in the cafeteria a few of us met in the Deli kitchen to practice garnishing and creative salads for the Night of Wonder event Sabbath night. Then today there was the walkthrough for SonRise, and then this afternoon we did a bridal shower for my uncle and his fiancée who are getting married next month.
Wedding Cakes from this week’s baking labs.
Swans and frogs from the Night of Wonder event Sabbath night.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned something about picking up my poetry again. While I may retain my ability to rhyme, there are few ideas that I can actually put into meter. One thing led to another until I ended up composing this little nerdy piece of satire: (Disclaimer: this is based solely off of a high school education.)
In Algebra, the core concept is solving for x. Apparently x cannot find itself and needs help, so we have to spend two entire years in high school and countless semesters in college (if you’re crazy enough) to help fix x. But no matter how many long hours you labor, x remains a dauntingly unsolved problem. There are many ways of solving for x: square roots, radical measures, equations, charts and graphs, exponents, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You can even compare x to other quantities and letters, saying that it is equal or comparable to this other value. If you dare, you can combine these two different values and say they are equal to zero in a quadratic equation—a very dramatic situation to deal with. However this only seems to complicate the process because now you have two values to simplify and then you’ll have several answers compared to zero, only one of which can be correct. Of course it makes absolutely no valuable sense.
As you can see, algebra is all about complicating the simple. It seems as if we may only solve for x using logic and laws. For example, the equation must be balanced at all times, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts—all of them—and at no point may we leave out one factor or value or else we will have to spend infinity and beyond digging for the missing piece.
If you think x and y are common labels for every problem past junior high, you may want to think again. Our chromosomes, ironically, are shaped in x’s and y’s. X-chromosomes came from your mother (who else); while the y chromosomes (from your father) pop up in random places as if they never cared y they got in your DNA—they are along for the ride as always. But however nonchalant the y chromosome is, the final say for gene expression comes from the y chromosome…does that sound like a little molecular gender discrimination? At any rate, it is yet again “mathematically and biologically logical” to blame x and y for all our idiosyncrasies.
The battle of x and y is one that is continually raging. There is the battle of women’s brains vs. men’s brains, women’s rights, and everybody’s favorite, trying to solve for x and y to somehow get them to smoke the peace pipe. (Mothers are experts at this by the way.) As the children get older and go their lonely ways, mama’s days in biology and algebra begin to haunt her so much that she feels the need to solve for her darling x’s and y’s. “Oh this x would be perfect for that y, and yada-yada-yada….Wouldn’t it be neat if… Well, if so and so will get so and so to put x and y together at this place and time, everything would fall into place perfectly.” And the race is on to see just how sharp her math and science skills are. Finally comes the awkward moment when x and y are shoved together and expected to balance the chemistry equation. The stage is set for a nuclear fission chain reaction except for one iota that mama and all her accomplices forgot: ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
Maybe we should look into the anomalies of x and y first next time….