Mathematics of Life
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Student Life

# Mathematics of Life

## The black sheep of school subjects and its hold on our lives.

23
Dr. Odd

Looking back on things now, I really appreciate math formulas. They simplify math equations that would otherwise melt the mind of any peon who wasn't a prodigy in the field. I couldn't possibly imagine trying to do math without them, or calculators, for that matter. Without a doubt, math as a whole is one of the most underappreciated tenants of modern society when you consider the presence of math in our lives. As a gamer, it stuns me from time to time how Smash specifically is a game where mathematics (and the attention you give to it) is precisely what gives a player the edge, as winning the game means racking up percentages of damage on your opponents instead of wailing on their health bar (the fluctuations of which are still determined mathematically, but not as clearly defined through numbers as with Smash.) Mixed with the angles and timing that a player must employ, the game almost completely boils down to the players comprehension of mathematical concepts, whether they are conscious of that factor not.

Further beyond the realm of basic, everyday math like sales tax or time management, there exists applications of math which does not actually adhere to numbers, in the technical sense. Certain things like focus and endurance, intangible concepts which produce physical results, are things that one can ration and release particular measures of. Back in my high school days, certain track or cross country workouts had the coaches asking us to only utilize certain percentages of our full effort in certain instances. When the concept was first introduced to me, it was something that was difficult to execute. Pretty much the only thing a young person wants to do when they run is go as hard as they can or just move their legs at some arbitrary speed when we wish to jog, so attaching a number to a certain speed that we're engaging takes time to do properly.

While that exercise in abstract math had its difficulties, it is certainly pales in comparison to the kind of quick-thinking that the business world demands of you. In this realm, the presence of math should be unsurprising, but within the mind, daily struggles take place to stay ahead of every task that comes your way, requiring the use of prioritization and more advanced time management. In the two customer service positions I've held, server and front desk representative, I very often have multiple individuals approaching me at the same time with a variety of requests or "needs." As one can imagine, each of them would like their concerns addressed as quickly as possible, and their issues have a high priority in their own minds, even if they are not as quite severe when stacked up against other issues. As the person with the name tag, it becomes your responsibility to not only figure out how to eliminate these concerns, but which ones need to be addressed first. This reality has created more than one quagmire for more than one customer service rep. Surely, on a much less critical scale, this is how a parent of multiple children must feel like: a distributor of time and a prioritizer of ever-mounting hassles, many of which are hilariously petty.

This outlook on life is one of the few things for which I feel thankful to my customer service career, considering all the headaches it's offered me as well. Math was my weakest subject at school, and like many others who performed like I did, we reassured ourselves with the mantra that math will not play such a large part of our lives. Ironically enough, I'm somewhat happy to be wrong about that: the math which did wind up being a major factor of my day-to-day routine surprised me greatly with how intriguing it can be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Relationships

## Grateful Beyond Words: A Letter to My Inspiration

### I have never been so thankful to know you.

281624
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

You have taught me that you don't always have to strong. You are allowed to break down as long as you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. When life had you at your worst moments, you allowed your friends to be there for you and to help you. You let them in and they helped pick you up. Even in your darkest hour you showed so much strength. I know that you don't believe in yourself as much as you should but you are unbelievably strong and capable of anything you set your mind to.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Your passion to make a difference in the world is unbelievable. You put your heart and soul into your endeavors and surpass any personal goal you could have set. Watching you do what you love and watching you make a difference in the lives of others is an incredible experience. The way your face lights up when you finally realize what you have accomplished is breathtaking and I hope that one day I can have just as much passion you have.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

SEE MORE: A Letter To My Best Friend On Her Birthday

The love you have for your family is outstanding. Watching you interact with loved ones just makes me smile. You are so comfortable and you are yourself. I see the way you smile when you are around family and I wish I could see you smile like this everyday. You love with all your heart and this quality is something I wished I possessed.

Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

You inspire me to be the best version of myself. I look up to you. I feel that more people should strive to have the strength and passion that you exemplify in everyday life.You may be stubborn at points but when you really need help you let others in, which shows strength in itself. I have never been more proud to know someone and to call someone my role model. You have taught me so many things and I want to thank you. Thank you for inspiring me in life. Thank you for making me want to be a better person.

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

Student Life

## Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

### Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

82183
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

## Don't freak out

This is a rule you should continue to follow no matter what you do in life, but is especially helpful in this situation.

## Email the professor

Around this time, professors are getting flooded with requests from students wanting to get into full classes. This doesn't mean you shouldn't burden them with your email; it means they are expecting interested students to email them. Send a short, concise message telling them that you are interested in the class and ask if there would be any chance for you to get in.

## Attend the first class

people sitting on chair in front of computer

Often, the advice professors will give you when they reply to your email is to attend the first class. The first class isn't the most important class in terms of what will be taught. However, attending the first class means you are serious about taking the course and aren't going to give up on it.

## Keep attending class

Every student is in the same position as you are. They registered for more classes than they want to take and are "shopping." For the first couple of weeks, you can drop or add classes as you please, which means that classes that were once full will have spaces. If you keep attending class and keep up with assignments, odds are that you will have priority. Professors give preference to people who need the class for a major and then from higher to lower class year (senior to freshman).

## Have a backup plan

For two weeks, or until I find out whether I get into my waitlisted class, I will be attending more than the usual number of classes. This is so that if I don't get into my waitlisted class, I won't have a credit shortage and I won't have to fall back in my backup class. Chances are that enough people will drop the class, especially if it is very difficult like computer science, and you will have a chance. In popular classes like art and psychology, odds are you probably won't get in, so prepare for that.

## Remember that everything works out at the end

Life is full of surprises. So what if you didn't get into the class you wanted? Your life obviously has something else in store for you. It's your job to make sure you make the best out of what you have.

Swoon

## Navigating the Talking Stage: 21 Essential Questions to Ask for Connection

### It's mandatory to have these conversations.

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Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

all stars lol GIF by LifetimeGiphy

## 1. What do you do for a living?

two women talking while looking at laptop computerPhoto by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

What someone does for a living can tell a lot about who they are and what they're interested in! Their career reveals a lot more about them than just where they spend their time to make some money.

## 2. What's your favorite color?

OK, I get it, this seems like something you would ask a Kindergarten class, but I feel like it's always good to know someone's favorite color. You could always send them that Snapchat featuring you in that cute shirt you have that just so happens to be in their favorite color!

## 3. Do you have any siblings?

shallow focus photography of two boys doing wacky facesPhoto by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

This one is actually super important because it's totally true that people grow up with different roles and responsibilities based on where they fall in the order. You can tell a lot about someone just based on this seemingly simple question.

## 4. What's your favorite television show?

OK, maybe this isn't a super important question, but you have to know ASAP if you can quote Michael Scott or not. If not, he probably isn't the one. Sorry, girl.

## 5. When is your birthday?

happy birthday balloons with happy birthday textPhoto by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

You can then proceed to do the thing that every girl does without admitting it and see how compatible your zodiacs are.

## 6. What's your biggest goal in life?

If you're like me, you have big goals that you want to reach someday, and you want a man behind you who also has big goals and understands what it's like to chase after a dream. If his biggest goal is to see how quickly he can binge-watch "Grey's Anatomy" on Netflix, you may want to move on.

## 7. If you had three wishes granted to you by a genie, what would they be?

itty-bitty living space." | The Genie shows Aladdin howâ€¦ | Flickrwww.flickr.com

This is a go-to for an insight into their personality. Based on how they answer, you can tell if they're goofy, serious, or somewhere in between.

## 8. What's your favorite childhood memory?

For some, this may be a hard question if it involves a family member or friend who has since passed away. For others, it may revolve around a tradition that no longer happens. The answers to this question are almost endless!

## 9. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

We all have parts of our lives and stories that we wish we could change. It's human nature to make mistakes. This question is a little bit more personal but can really build up the trust level.

## 10. Are you a cat or a dog person?

shallow focus photography of dog and catPhoto by Anusha Barwa on Unsplash

I mean, duh! If you're a dog person, and he is a cat person, it's not going to work out.

## 11. Do you believe in a religion or any sort of spiritual power?

Personally, I am a Christian, and as a result, I want to be with someone who shares those same values. I know some people will argue that this question is too much in the talking stage, but why go beyond the talking stage if your personal values will never line up?

## 12. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

yellow Volkswagen van on roadPhoto by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Even homebodies have a must visit place on their bucket list!

## 13. What is your ideal date night?

Hey, if you're going to go for it... go for it!

## 14. Who was/is your celebrity crush?

orange i have a crush on you neon light signagePhoto by Leonardo Sanches on Unsplash

For me, it was hands-down Nick Jonas. This is always a fun question to ask!

## 15. What's a good way to cheer you up if you're having a bad day?

Let's be real, if you put a label on it, you're not going to see your significant other at their best 24/7.

## 16. Do you have any tattoos?

5 Tattoos Artist That Will Make You Want A Tattoo

This can lead to some really good conversations, especially if they have a tattoo that has a lot of meaning to them!

## 17. Can you describe yourself in three words?

It's always interesting to see if how the person you're talking to views their personal traits lines ups with the vibes you're getting.

## 18. What makes you the most nervous in life?

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytimePhoto by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

This question can go multiple different directions, and it could also be a launching pad for other conversations.

Admittedly, I have asked this question to friends as well, but it's neat to see what people value.

## 20. What do you do to relax/have fun?

Work hard, play hard, right?

## 21. What are your priorities at this phase of your life?

a scrabbled wooden block spelling the word prizePhoto by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

This is always interesting because no matter how compatible your personalities may be, if one of you wants to be serious and the other is looking for something casual, it's just not going to work.

Lifestyle

## Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

### Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

49825
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

A few weeks ago, I was given a loaf of bread called Challah (pronounced like holla), and upon my first bite, I realized it tasted just like Easter Bread. It was so delicious that I just had to make some of my own, which I did.

StableDiffusion

The recipe is as follows:

##### Ingredients

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash)
1/4 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil

##### Instructions
1. Combine yeast and a pinch of sugar in small bowl with the water and stir until you see a frothy layer across the top.
2. Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add in eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.
4. Pour the yeast mixture over the egg slurry and mix until difficult to move.
5. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough seems very sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky, but no longer like bubblegum. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, smooth, and holds a ball-shape.
6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Separate the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and 16 inches long.
8. Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. Braid the pieces in the pattern of over, under, and over again. Pinch the pieces together again at the bottom.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and away from drafts and let it rise until puffed and pillowy, about an hour.
10. Heat the oven to 350Â°F. Whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.
11. Slide the challah on its baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The challah is done when it is deeply browned.

I kept wondering how these two breads could be so similar in taste. So I decided to look up a recipe for Easter Bread to make a comparison. The two are almost exactly the same! These recipes are similar because they come from religious backgrounds. The Jewish Challah bread is based on kosher dietary laws. The Christian Easter Bread comes from the Jewish tradition but was modified over time because they did not follow kosher dietary laws.

StableDiffusion

A recipe for Easter bread is as follows:

##### Ingredients

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 tbs butter
2 large eggs
2 tbs melted butter
1 tsp salt

##### Instructions
1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
2. Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Both of these recipes are really easy to make. While you might need to have a day set aside for this activity, you can do things while the dough is rising or in the oven. After only a few hours, you have a delicious loaf of bread that you made from scratch, so the time and effort is really worth it!

StableDiffusion

## Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

### There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

982234
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

## A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

## You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

women sitting on rock near body of waterPhoto by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

## You have no patience for the guy who can't back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

## Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

## The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

## Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

## You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

## You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

## Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average-sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

## Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

## The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

## You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up, and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

## Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

## Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

## There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.