Mathematics of Life
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Student Life

Mathematics of Life

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

Mathematics of Life
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.
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