life · math

Adrift in a sea of endless opportunity…shit’s scary.

I am a directionless upper division student. It’s an interesting spot to be in, seeing parts of new ideas like topology and fields and thinking…is this it? Is this the concept that is going to get me hooked and I’ll know what to do in grad school?

As if it’s just sitting there for me twiddling it’s thumbs. Knowing I am beating myself up because I just don’t think I understand how ideals work, or that I am bored as fuck with all these epsilon proofs.

I was e-mailing with Professor S today and realized, I might actually like these evil proofs from abstract algebra. Let’s not admit this too much.

I just wish it would be like BAM here I am!!! Fall in love with me already and let’s get this mathematics on the road!!!

Also, let’s realize my current attitude towards math is how my peers feel about finding their significant others at this time in their lives. I don’t know if I am sad or nerdy.

I say both.

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depression · life

Alone

I love being alone.

But I hate this so much about myself. I really wish I were the type of person who’s a social butterfly. I mean, I can be funny and joke with anyone but in general I mostly sit in the back and watch the crowd. I can also be the loud one in a group I’m used to. But the next day I’ll hide under my covers, re-thinking everything I said.

Or I’ll be so far away from the socialization I’ll be at home alone.

I feel awkward making plans with people. I assume they don’t want to be seen with me or don’t really like my company. So I don’t.

And when I am out with friends I am constantly thinking that they are wishing I weren’t there. I always think people are annoyed by me. Or once I leave they’ll call up their real friends and be like, “she’s so weird!”

It’s part of my depression, that these thoughts just overwhelm me. And I tell my therapist and we talk about what could happen if I were to ask people to do things. And I just never ask.

Then there’s me on alcohol. I know I am an alcoholic. I can’t explain how I love drunk me. It’s the me I wish I could be all the time. Before I blackout, of course, and ruin all my friendships, or damage my body, or wake up in strange places. And the great mystery of addiction is that when you’re sober, the active addicts find you to bring you back into your addiction.

It’s so much more comfortable being alone. But that isn’t a life.

math

Having a vagina in math is a slight annoyance.

In creating a blog with the fact that I am a female in math, I figured at some point I’d get to this topic. I just didn’t think it  would be so soon.

There are so many articles dedicated to how women are treated in STEM majors or anaylsis on why women don’t go into STEM majors. The idea I hear most lately is that women tend to have more anxiety towards math due to the anxiety their female teachers had towards the subject. I think it’s a little bit of that but also that you really get picked at, in the name of “I’m just joking with you”.

I’ve personally heard the following comments when struggling with my work:

“Men are just better at math. It’s how their brains work.”

“It’s okay that you don’t get math, men are just better at it.”

“You’re not a man/Asian. So you’re just not naturally good at it.”

“It’s a really hard subject. And you’re good at English/biology. So don’t worry about it.”

And then there’s the other comments when I excel at my work:

“We all know what you did to get that grade.” *insert handjob motion*

“Why do you go to ____’s office hours so much? Do you have a crush on him?”

“I think ____ helps you so much because he’s attracted to you.”

Most of the time I just roll my eyes or give an uncomfortable laugh. I really hate making enemies with people I have to work with so I just kind of take it. But this week, I am really uncomfortable.

I did really underwhelmingly on my analysis midterm. There I said it.

I fully get analysis. I just don’t enjoy it, it kind of bores me. And when something bores me I just ‘meh’ my way through it. And it always seems to backfire. And it backfired.

I don’t know what went on behind the scenes but I am gathering that my analysis professor who smells like my dad met with Dr. Dreamcrusher to figure out what kind of student I am and if this is something expected from me. There was some sort of conversation about what Dr. Dreamcrusher knows about me and my analysis professor emailed me last week for a meeting.

I guess I should also mention that I got into that program that Dr. Dreamcrusher wrote that late letter for. So he also wanted to talk about that, since the program will cover analysis.

There was a closed door (and walk to the on campus marketplace) meeting where he graciously offered to incomplete me for the quarter even though I will finish as if I am in the class so I could do the program and audit in the fall for an attempt at an A instead of a C or whatever I am getting now. It seems he’s really trying to guide me towards graduate school and explained an A in analysis is the key.

And I am grateful as fuck.

(Side note: I am a little shocked A) Dr. Dreamcrusher cared at all. 2) remembered anything about me enough to pass along information to my analysis professor. Then he just got really weird in the next office hour asking me “how I am doing in analysis.” Bitch, you already know. I know you know because my analysis professor said you fools chatted. Don’t play this game. Just tell me you know I did bad and offer whatever you’re gonna offer. Don’t beat around the bush, dude. Also, stop asking me uncomfortable questions with a bunch of people around. I am not going to give an answer or I am gonna lie. Ugh. Also, this new ‘caring’ thing is scaring me. The man is an odd bird.)

That said, the guys in my analysis class saw that I met with our professor and now there are comments about how I am doing sexual favors for a good grade as it was a private, out of office hours meeting and they saw me walking with him.

I haven’t told anyone what I have gotten on my midterm because I generally don’t share my grades good or bad. I find if they are good, all of a sudden you have several ‘new friends’ who want to copy off you, or if they are bad all of a sudden you become the butt of their jokes. So I just don’t.

So I just uncomfortably laughed and told them to fuck off. But it continued for a little while longer. Then it continued the next day. And the next. And I am already tired of it.

I don’t want to explain what the meeting was about to these guys because it’s a favor that my professor doesn’t have to do. I don’t want the entire class to find out and 1) be upset, and 2) expect the same treatment or 3) my professor get in trouble for doing tricky shit.

And this isn’t the first time I have gotten this. When I took multi-variable calculus, I had a professor straight out of Berkeley and had zero clue on how to teach. He was smart, but not good at instruction. We started the semester with about 20 students. I was 1 of 2 females in the class, and the first day of instruction the guys were joking in the hallway that I was the most likely person to drop because I was 1) female and 2) not of an “approved math ethnicity” because I am Mexican. So less than 8 people ended up at the final and 1 person had an A in the class. That was me.

They attributed it to the fact that I must have had sex with the professor. I didn’t, I actually was the only one who fully completed the massive packet of semester review he assigned. So I got an A.

(Side note: not that the A meant I mastered multi-V. I remember almost nothing. It’s sad.)

But sometimes these comments get to me. I start wondering, did a professor give me leniency because I am a female? Am I getting preferential treatment because of my gender or they think I am weaker? I didn’t even want to tell the school about being sick last quarter because I didn’t want to think I got good grades because my professors felt bad I was sick. I hate that shit. I want to get my degree because I earned my degree and that alone.

I just don’t understand why if I show up for office hours constantly, I must have a some sort of romantic feelings. It can’t possibly be that I know my weaknesses and know I need to hear the material in several different ways so show up to get help? Or in hearing what other people ask, helps me get hints? Or I genuinely want guidance about my major? Or I know I have anxiety about this subject and in order to feel more confident about it I seek affirmation from my professor? Or I work better one on one because I get incredibly nervous asking with a bunch of people listening?

Are these guys serious with what they say? Probably not. But it’s annoying and old.

math

Things I’ve done to avoid doing my Analysis test corrections:

  1. E-mail my analysis professor.
    In my defense, he e-mailed first.
  2. E-mail my algebra professor.
    I had some homework questions for Dr. Dreamcrusher.
  3. E-mail my DE professor from community college.
    We had important REU conversations.
  4. Go on a hike.
    I got a little sunburned, but I feel like more math majors need vitamin K. D. (I am annoyed I remembered that falsely.)
  5. Write a story about if I were a serial killer, what would be on my DVR and why.
    It was a prompt I had laying around. Getting the creative juices flowing.
  6. Watch Awkward.
    I am in the middle of a season!
  7. Read a different Analysis book.
    Okay, this one is legitimately helpful.
  8. Look up pastel pink decorating schemes for my living room.
    I don’t have any money, but it’s nice to dream.
  9. Color that math color book.
    De-stress!
  10. Ice cream.
    See point 9.
  11. Play SimCity on my phone.
    A lot. And I am out of simoleons, otherwise I’d be playing now.
  12. Look at houses for sale & rent on Zillow.
    I’m not in the market for a house, but see point 8.
  13. Write this post.
    Obvs.