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September 5, 2008

I'm Going to Make Differential Equations My Bitch

By Tre Jermain, FSU engineering major

My first go-around with my required differential equations course was highly unsuccessful. Straight up? I flunked that shit; no other way to say it. I fell behind about Week One and I never recovered, and by November of last fall I was completely fucked up trying to differentiate between linear equations, nonlinear equations, and even my own phone number.

But this semester is different, my friend. This is the year that I make differential equations my own personal bitch.

You see, I'm taking a new approach to Diffy-Q, as the graduate assistants call it. Before you can make differential equations your bitch, you must have a good, positive self-image, so the math will find you attractive.

You must take your differential equations into another world, a really special world where only the two of you exist, a romantic world, a poetic world. Sometimes this happens automatically with students and mathematical equations: if you've ever fallen in love, you remember what it's like to feel like you are the only two people who've ever existed. Other times, you have to create the mood: some soft music, a nice bottle of wine, and your Heweltt Packard 11C engineering calculator.

That's how it's going to be with me and differential equations this time.

And listen: never take your differential equations to the same place you'd go with your homies if you want to really understand this math. Take your equations someplace out of the ordinary, like a river front cafe in a nearby small town, a walk in the woods where you've previously and secretly stashed a bottle of champagne, two glasses and a blanket. That will make differential equations feel very special, and not like some cheap geometry proof that you picked up at the bar.

One me and differential equations get it right, the world ain't never going to be the same, you hear?

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