[Open] My Mathematical Mind

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[Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:22 pm

I have a theory that humans are more are more inclined toward the abstract rather than the concrete because we can control the former and warp it to what we want it to be.

This is particularly true for arithmetic: I cannot control or comprehend how abysmal I am at it and subsequently, how much I dread it when it appears on my schedule.

It is next period. Remedial arithmetic. My stubbornness in tackling it without assistance lead me to tarnish my academic record no matter how much I excelled in other areas.

Well...there is the bell. Inside I go. *dramatic swallow*
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:29 pm

[I'm assuming Myra's still a freshman, right? I had to look at the profile because of the name colour thing. I'm assuming so. If not, I'll go back and delete this response or something.]

If humans were attracted to abstraction, nobody at Yamaku was more abstract, abrasive and difficult to swallow than Kanjiro, and he had not seen much of this inclination since he was born. He'd been isolated in a bubble of his own fragmented mind. If he knew what she was thinking, he certainly would have hoped he hadn't seen Myra's theory in action, otherwise it put a very cynical twist on his relationship with the only mother figure he'd ever had. The idea that she had been drawn to him because he was easy to control, easy to manipulate would have horrified him if that was something that could have ever occurred to him. This is what Kanjiro would have said to the classmate that seemed nervous to enter the room for the arithmetic class ahead, if he could do the following two things:
A - Read minds.
B - String coherent thoughts together more than ten percent of the time.

But Kanjiro could do neither of this things, so instead, he did nothing at all.

Arithmetic. He was good at math. He liked math. The numbers and algebraic letters dampened the noises in his head. They were tangible. They had a set value. He didn't have to take anything else into account, you got what you saw and nothing more. Nothing else made sense. Especially emotions, other human beings, and thinking. Those never made any sense. Numbers never tried to be something they weren't. They never lied about what they thought for the fear of what someone else would think, mainly because numbers couldn't think. Numbers couldn't judge other numbers. He wished humans couldn't either. Maybe then things would make sense.

He watched the girl enter the classroom, and wondered what went through her mind. He wondered what went through the minds of anyone who could follow a train of thought, anyone who could make sense of something. Was it the same as him at a normal pace, or was it all different? Were they abstract too, just much less than him? And then he thought about lots of things all at once, not really knowing what a single one of them was. His eyes were still following the girl that had entered the room. He looked back down to his notebook.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:52 pm

[That she is. She hasn't passed her first year yet.]

The scrape of the chair legs was relatively close to him. In fact, right beside him. And I....I was beside myself with indignation and wounded pride that I couldn't manage simple numerical functions.

Human beings are abstract; we can postulate about them for as long as we live. Human relationships...that is where the concrete is frozen in time, in its liquid form, never quite solidifying into that foundation to raise a building from.

Conversation is a mud hut that can be swept away at any time, leaving the things within vulnerable. But, if you form it with the right materials, it can be stronger and more rewarding that steel. The building blocks to human interaction: E = mc2.

The building blocks to arithmetic: a scientific calculator, formula and the inclination that you won't quite need trigonometry in the real world. The latter sentiment defeats the former two.

"Do you know how all this works?" I asked the brown-haired youth beside me.

Myra Lee Ferreira, you are again at another mercy. Play your cards wisely. Algebraic Geometry for 200.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:39 pm

Those building blocks to human relationships were the exact thing Kanjiro never had a grip on. He knew he had the theoretical tools to build the foundations of something akin to a low-level connection, despite what poor shape they may have been in. What he didn't know was what to do with them, or at least how to get them to create what he was seeking. He knew it was something... But what? All he could do was build puny sandcastles, only to have them washed away by the roaring tidal wave of mile-a-minute thoughts that shot holes through his mind like bullets and knocked him to the sand again. Then he'd empty the water from his bucket and start from scratch again. In his world, every connection was temporary, existing in a brief moment before it was annihilated.

Kanjiro nodded emphatically, chewing on the end of his pen for a moment as he tried to focus on what he was doing and how he could communicate it with as little speech as possible. First he needed to know where she was coming from. He scrawled a poorly drawn right-angled triangle and marked an angle with a question mark. He lifted his pen and his arm spasmed briefly.

"Trig. Sin, cos, tan. Hypotenuse, opposite, adjacent." He pointed to each of the appropriate sides of the triangle as he named them.

He made false starts on the word of the next sentence as he tried to struggle through his own mind.

"Y.. y.. you got that much, yeah?"

He was going about it rather poorly, but he was trying to gauge what level her knowledge of trigonometry was at. He waited for the girl's response.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:21 am

Happy Myra is one of the rarest sights in the world. The relieved, rapturous smile that graced my face exercised muscles seldom used - however brief it was. The voice machine in my throat clicked on: "Thank you." came the fluid response.

"I could never quite remember what was what. In what situations am I to use each of the three former terms? I get stilted on that a lot."

Of course, I noticed the odd spasms; I just felt it was ill to comment on them.

"Go on, you're doing fine."
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:41 am

It pleased him to see the girl whose name he didn't know smiling, cherishing the brief moment in spite of having no knowledge of what a rarity it was. He didn't get to make people smile very often. Being able to do it through math was something he never thought he'd do.

He wrote out three groups of three letters: SOH, CAH and TOA. Out of context it looked like random scribblings, but he opted to walk her through each one separately. His voice was shaky, unstable. Trying to halt himself from the endless flow of words that wanted to spill out of his mouth rapidly. He made long pauses between certain words where he usually would have left a broken sentence, trying not to leave out words. It was hard for him to communicate this in a way that would make sense, but it was good practice, combining one of his best strengths with one of his greatest weaknesses.
"Each has... two known values... and one unknown. Use varies with... what's known."

He put some values into the triangle, giving the angle a value.

"Sin times angle equals opposite over hypotenuse. So, if length of the opposite... is unknown, but we have hypotenuse... and the angle, what do we do?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:55 pm

My pen whisked across the pages of my notebook and jotted down everything in a cursive hand. Mulling over the question, I go for the obvious fact.

"Well, logically, we would have to find....the opposite since the hypotenuse and angle are present, right?"

I glanced at him out of the corners of my eye.

"What s your name? I want to properly thank you for coming to my rescue. Mine is Myra."

I thought attempting to establish some sort of friendly rapport with him would calm him down. Naturally, I assume that his mannerisms are a part of his condition. Either way, his slow, deliberate speech was crucial to my learning. I had patience for him.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:54 pm

"Right, but how do you... think we would do that? Any ideas?"

He looked at the girl next to him properly now. She looked beautiful and exotic, something about her intrigued him in a way that he couldn't quite identify. Myra. It was a pretty name, one he hadn't heard before. The personal touch made him feel better, but it also made things harder for him, pushing him towards the sand with his bucket and spade again. A sandcastle would have to do.

"Kanjiro. Luckily, you asked me... for just about the only... thing... I can do." He said, giving his signature crooked smile.

He muttered quietly and rapidly between his two sentences, trying to let his mind run wild for a few moments. His tics and manic energy built up like steam, and he had to let it out gradually or he'd burst. This was a new tactic for interactions he'd just thought of. It seemed logical. He supposed his current situation would be a good test for this approach.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:36 am

I could ponder it all day and I would not have been able to figure it out. I gave in and said I couldn't possibly know. I am an idiot. Of course, this was out of frustration.

What was said next drew my attention back to Kanjiro with raised brows. My eyes were met with a jagged, grim smile that caused my eyes to burn and water up unexpectedly. It reminded me of home. Exemplified everything I felt about it and all I've been run through.

I felt empathy and with that a well of a delayed eruption of emotions. I hastily wiped my eyes and concentrated on the business at hand.

"So, Kanjiro, what does one do?" I ask, gesturing to the problem.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:40 pm

He nodded, breaking eye contact with Myra to survey the notes and try to refocus. There was something familiar in her eyes, and despite the flat monotone of the device which spoke for her, her face told his damaged brain everything he needed to know.

He wrote out the elements of the formula in a triangle shape on the paper. The word 'opposite' at the top with a line underneath to show that it was the top part of a fraction. Underneath the dividing line he wrote 'sin(angle)', a multiplication symbol and the word 'hypotenuse'. He figured this might work better.
"See this? Cover what you don't know up... tells you how to find it." He said, putting his thumb over 'opposite', leaving 'sin(angle) x hypotenuse'
"So that's... how you find the opposite. Understand?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:53 pm

Right then, the formula clicked in my head with a bolt of lightning. I didn't even have to answer. My hand jolted across the page with a manic glee that has never before been seen; I was utterly astonished that I had caught on and solved the problem. A victory pump alluded to a person who attended this school years ago who, like me, could not speak conventionally. Of course, I wouldn't know that, would I? Triumphantly, I trust my notes to Kanjiro, beaming with pride.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:28 pm

Kanjiro grinned right back at Myra.
"That's it." He said, scribbling a new triangle in an identical configuration with different values attached. The hypotenuse and the opposite were provided, but the angle wasn't. One last question before he moved her on to the other functions.
"Can you... find the angle now?"

He couldn't stop sustaining the grin, making somebody happy was something he never thought he had much of a capacity for. And for some reason, something about this particular girl's glee made it even more rewarding. He fiddled with the stone on the end of the cheap, black rope on his necklace, running his thumb over the thin veins of dark blue that ran through it, drumming the fingers of his other hand on it rapidly and rhythmlessly.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:36 am

"I am sure I can handle it now. Thank you."

I taped the desk rhythmically as I pondered how to continue this social excursion beyond the classroom level in conjunction to solving these equations. Millions upon millions of possibilities within a realm of uncontrolled abstraction. My hands kept busy as did my mind for two separate functions.

"Are you busy after class, Kanjiro-san?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:01 am

A look of genuine shock crossed Kanjiro's face for a brief moment, as though this was a question he'd never been asked before. This was because he hadn't.
"N-no."

He thought for a moment about whether he should flesh his response out a little more. He settled for adding the words:
"Are you?"

He thought that might have been a dumb addition, but at least it showed that he had the same interest in getting to know Myra as she seemed to in him. That was the implication, right? That she'd go on to ask him to join her in doing... something? He wasn't really sure, maybe it was just small talk that he was reading wrong. His sandcastles never lasted longer than they had to. He didn't know where this interaction with Myra was going, but it seemed to be subverting the usual formula already. Maybe he could graduate to building a mud hut soon enough, or maybe even an igloo.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:49 am

"Well, I am, that is why I asked you, Sir."

Finally, looking up at him, I put down my pencil. The period's work lay half-completed in its wake. My cheek rested on my right palm, my left hand took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes with a mute yawn that translated as feedback.

"It is before lunch. I can treat you as a token of appreciation."
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:23 am

"Oh... That sounds nice. Thank you." Kanjiro smiled, dropping the polished turqouise crystal in his hand and organising the scattered pile of his notes into a neat stack.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:41 am

"Good."

My softly humming voice-box shut off and that was that. Not a peep was heard out of me while the instructor continued his lesson to the few that came in tardy, himself included. Trigonometry continued until the bell rang and homework was assigned.

The teacher had to prod me with his ruler (no innuendo intended) since I was known to have sleeping fits in his class. Math this early in the morning (the class was from 9 A.M. to 11 A.M.) is not my forte in the slightest.

The bell's shrill cry came as a swan song to my ears and I packed my books and the like in my messenger bag and handed my assignment to the teacher at the front of the room.

"Kanjiro-san, what preferences do you have? For food and drink, I mean."
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:51 am

Kanjiro divided the hours between his work and trying to make sense of what was in his head. When the bell rang, he stood and handed his work in. The teacher looked at the disorganised scrawls on the sheets of paper and sighed. Grading the boy's work was pretty much every teacher's nightmare. The math teacher was obviously in for a rough night of work pouring over Kanjiro's work, trying to make sense of his poorly laid out notes which always seemed to arrive at the right answer, which was probably the most baffling thing about it.

Kanjiro was oblivious to this, turning to respond to Myra's question. He hardly ate more than a bread roll from the cafeteria with a drink from one of the vending machines for lunch, and it wasn't particularly due to preference. But he wasn't going to tell Myra any of that.
"No preferences. I'll have anything."
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:06 am

[Apologies. College and work took priority.]

A nod followed.

"All right. Come with me."

I turned and exited the classroom, trying to slow myself down because I doubt he could catch up to the fast pace I'm used to, and made my way to the staircase.

"The Professor allowed me to borrow his motorized scooter so we can get to town easier. No long walk even if I enjoy them."
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:52 am

[As they should. That's fine.]

Kanjiro followed her down the corridor and to the staircase.
"Awesome." He grinned. Then he realised she'd said something he didn't know anything about.
"Who's 'The Professor'?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:18 am

"Professor Kobayashi. He is a tenured professor at Osaka University...as well as my legal guardian."

The footsteps echoed as we made our way down the stairs. The sunlight shone through the windows on the ground floor and provided hope that it was a warmer than what we've been receiving. Through the double doors and then to the girl's dormitories.

"I'm going to quickly change into some causal-wear, if you don't mind. Do you mind waiting out here for about five minutes?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:09 am

"Oh.. Right."
It made sense now, that familiar part of her. She must have found herself without parents too. She must know what it's like to grow up in an orphanage, at least in part.

He listened to what she proposed and nodded. He felt perfectly fine waiting outside. He probably would have felt more anxious and terrified if he were to go any closer to the girls dorms.

"Sure." He said, stopping right where he stood. He began fiddling with his necklace again, turning it over in his hands and inspecting it closely as he began muttering to himself about the crystal, going off on random tangents with each thought that entered his mind.


Last edited by Kanjiro Watari on Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Left an incomplete response because I couldn't function this morning. Fixed it and added a little more.)
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:30 am

I glance back as I heard the murmurs start but carried on my way. Five minutes later, technically 6 minutes, I emerge from the dormitory donning fresh causal apparel to transverse the streets in.



"You look like a spectral apparition or, at the very least, like you saw one, Kanjiro-san. What's the matter, hmm?"

The boy was odd; I knew that. I didn't want to do anything that would tax me and him, moreso, be made uncomfortable. However, taking things at face value make the person feel like less of a burden. I don't want him to think that I'm irritated or some sort of pickish shrew intent on vulturizing him.

"The Shanghai is a very quiet place. Good lunch options. Shall we go there?"
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Kanjiro Watari on Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:58 am

Kanjiro waited outside, ceasing his rambling as Myra appeared in her change of clothes. She looked beautiful to him. Yet there was a look in her eye that he couldn't decode. He struggled to take his eyes off her.

Kanjiro's face went red and he floundered as she caught him out.
"N-nothing... I...I... Uh, y-you look nice. That's all."

"Quiet? Quiet sounds good..." He agreed.

"For the record, I don't see ghosts." He stated, bluntly.

His body convulsed briefly, his fingers twitching and trembling.
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Re: [Open] My Mathematical Mind

Post by Myra Lee Ferreira on Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:53 pm

Parkingson's maybe? Hmm...interesting. I turned my eyes up to his and nodded in response to his compliment.

"Thank you," I said with a brief, inaudible chuckle. "I'm glad you don't. It would be rather troublesome if you could. Now don't be nervous. We shall make our leave."

I took his hand and, with my signature fast paced trot, started toward the immense front gate, looming n the distance.
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