I like math.

mathWhenever someone disses math and I end up defending it, I get funny looks. A lot of funny looks. The fact that I like math makes me seem abnormal to others, and there are some who say, “What is even there to like about math? Of all the subjects you could’ve picked for a favourite…”

I like math for the problem solving aspect of it. Complex things were always fun for me – I liked working to get to the proper solution, even if it took me hours. I remember that one time I sat working for two hours straight to get a two-digit answer. It sounds bad, yes, but when I put the pen down and rested back in my chair, I felt absolutely elated. When I found out that I had been the only one to get to the solution, I was glowing with pride.

Why did I feel compelled to talk about math of all things? Well because of the common misconception that liking things most people dislike (or vice versa) doesn’t make you normal.

If that’s the case then I’m pretty abnormal. I happen to like many things that may cause others to wrinkle their noses. I like broccoli, I like the cosy indoors, I like my steak extremely well done, I like school, I like my “coffee” with 50% creamer, 45% sugar and 5% coffee, I like to dress rather conservatively, I would not like to have kids of my own, I do not like having pictures taken of me, I do not like the fictional bad boys, I do not like love triangles, I do not like hookahs, I do not like to drink, I do not like summer, I do not like onion rings, I do not like garlic… and the list goes on and on.

How can you not love that? So cute!

How can you not love that? So cute!

But really, what’s the big deal? Is it so wrong and out of place for me to like/dislike these things? If I had kept those things concealed, people wouldn’t have known any better and I would’ve remained seemingly normal to them. I’m always amused whenever I inform someone of an odd favourite of mine and they get that look of shock on their faces. It’s like… really, does my love of broccoli warrant such a blatant expression of distaste?

I should like to think that my normalcy isn’t defined by the things I like and dislike, but if that has to be the case, then give me a bowl of broccoli and a ranch dip and call me abnormal.

Are there things you like that everyone else seems to dislike? Or things you dislike that everyone else likes? Do you like math? 😉

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32 thoughts on “I like math.

  1. JezebelAurora says:

    “I remember that one time I sat working for two hours straight to get a two-digit answer.”

    I had a similar experience too. I am weak at Maths. Numbers and processes don’t go into my head. But what I lacked in interest, I made up with sheer determination to not let it hold me down. and Shockingly, I found out that I like Statistics. I remember solving a sum on regression after almost 45 mins of checking and re checking every step. Punching the numbers on the calculator, tearing my hair apart and finally, Voila! I got the correct answer! My parents were shocked beyond belief that I got an A in Stats when in my entire school life, I was beyond help.

    I like Maths for the simple fact that it taught me that nothing is impossible if you keep bugging it with hard work, focus n determination (as clichéd as it sounds)!.

    Oh, and I absolutely love broccoli (why do ppl avoid it?) but don’t like the ‘bloaty’ feel afterwards!

    Had fun reading your post! 🙂

    • Statistics is fantastic! I remember we got some really tricky problems, but I was always so delighted whenever I found out the solution. 😀 And you’re right, math does teach one that. So much for “math will never come in handy.” 😉

      And I have no idea why people avoid it. It’s delicious!

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear that. =D

        • Yes! Most people just decide in advance that they dislike it and even when they do try it, they do it with the intent of proving their dislike for it. Oh well. =/

  2. It’s ok, I like maths too! It currently my favourite subject at school, followed closely by chemistry. \(^o^)/ I know may people who also love maths, a lot my than me too! I guess it might be because my school embraces nerd culture. ^^

  3. 최다해 gongjumonica says:

    Hugs, Zen! I love Math, too! I remember my Math classmates who were amazed by my mental calculations in college Algebra. Later they’d call me walking calculator. I am also “abnormal”. I love tomato juice, I count the tiles in the floor while walking, and arranged books in alphabetical order when I was young!

    • Yay more math fans! 😀 Algebra was so much fun, the problems were always so challenging and I enjoyed them. Do you still arrange your books that way? Personally I arrange them by height, haha.

  4. I agree with you Zen – about the oddity of having people find certain individual preferences rather strange. I like poetry and many people I have met don’t – never could explain why. I don’t like lamb and yet it is visualised as the stereotypical, traditional Australian meat. I also totally agree with you about broccoli – oh, I also like broccolini and peas – beans are evil though! Those skinny vile creatures ought to be vanquished from the realm of the living with extraordinary prejudice! As for maths Ma’am, if its arithmetic, then sure, in my opinion that is passable. But if it is algebra – in my belief whoever invented algebra ought to be dragged out into the middle of the street and flogged! No offense! Very informative and well written post Zen!

    • I don’t like lamb meat either! I find it a lot more fatty and heavy on the stomach that beef. I’ve actually never had broccolini, but I agree with you on peas – they are delish! – and beans – please do keep those away. But I do disagree with you when it comes to algebra, I actually find it very interesting. 😉 Thank you, Derek!

  5. I like Math fairly well. I think the thing that makes me weirdest is that I’d rather be too hot than too cold while everyone else is the opposite. “You can add more layers,” they argue, “but you can only remove so many.”
    Yes, but there are infinity ways to escape heat. I worked outside in a 110+ degree summer and I found shade, breezes, clouds, and water are four easy friends to find. In the dead of winter, these are four easy ENEMIES to find. Cold gives no rest, but you can run from heat.

    • I am one of these people who says “You can add more layers”, haha. I just prefer to be cold rather than sweaty and icky. That said, it never gets colder than 8 degrees Celsius where I live, so it’s pretty bearable!

  6. I always get a kick out of finding things you and I have in common, Zen. I love math! When I had to teach it to my kid, we had a blast with math, and I, too, likened it to solving mysteries. I love broccoli, and I’m actually with you on all of your list with a few exceptions – I don’t mind if my steak moos at me, and I like garlic and onion rings. We match on the others! 😉 And as far as I’m concerned – we are normal!

    • I never pegged you for a math fan, but now that I know you are, it makes you all the more awesome. =D Haha, I really can’t stand those three foods. Especially garlic because whenever I have that I become sick. 😦

  7. I do like math. I spent 40 years of my life working with numbers as a CPA and financial person, so I definitely liked the idea of 1 + 1 = 2 when it mattered. Good for you.

  8. I say I’m completely hopeless at Math, Zen, but sometimes I surprise myself (and others) when I do very fast mental calculations 😉 I’ve tried to avoid it for most of my life and I’m not sure if this is because my father was a mathematician and I thought I could never compare to him, or if I’m too lazy (though I think it’s the latter).

    We all love and hate different things and that’s what makes this world and the people in it such an interesting place 😀

    • Wow, having a mathematician for a dad must’ve been tough! I bet there was constant pressure to get an A on your exams.
      And exactly! Without a little diversity, we’d all be boring. 😉

  9. LOL – I work with numbers most of the day so you’d think I’d like math as well. Most of the time I can’t wait to go running and screaming away from spreadsheets and not have to talk about trends, patterns and financials. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic… I have a knack for it though because try as I might, I can’t seem to move on from this career.

    As for the other stuff, I was mostly with you (except reverse the proportions in your coffee calculation) and then you lost me with the onion rings. Onion rings are basically a guilty pleasure for me food-wise. Having followed your blog for awhile I know you occasionally enjoy sweets, so you are still okay by me. I don’t trust people who say they don’t like sweets. 😛 It’s one thing to say you’re cutting back or giving them up, but to just outright claim to not like sweets is un-natural.

    Probably my strangest dislike is my dislike of open toed shoes. Unfortunately I live in a desert environment, so sandals and flip flops are common footwear around here. I always have issues finding dress shoes because women’s fashion always trends towards open toed shoes.

    Oh yeah, and just to make sure – don’t take the first two parts of my comments too seriously. 🙂

    • Well, to be honest, even though I like math, I can’t imagine working with it all the time, so I sorta understand where you’re coming from!
      And I agree. I know a girl who does not like chocolate, and that always leaves me in shock. How can you not like chocolate? Everyone likes chocolate!
      I can’t stand open toed shoes either. I feel more comfortable when my toes are completely covered!
      And don’t worry about that. 😉 Thank you for the comment, Nicole!

  10. Love maths…especially the aesthetically appealing syntax which so many cringe at the site of. I taught math for a couple of years in middle and high school and put my heart into attempting to make math fun and understandably a necessity for everyday life in every realm of living. I have yet to understand why it is so disliked and avoided by so many. To each his own, I suppose. The beauty of working through the steps of integrals and differentiation is most fun to me, especially to the third degree, which like a puzzle requires time and concentration and the end-product is gratifying when you solve correctly. What area of math are you most interested in?

    • I think it’s because of the way it is taught. While you did try to make it fun, other teachers might make it seem boring and difficult. And comparing it to a puzzle is pretty much spot on! I was particularly fond of trigonometry and quadratic equations… mostly things algebra-related, which are incidentally the areas most people dislike!

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