Similar to how we tend to either identify with Christina or Britney or with cake or pie, we tend to think of ourselves as either a math person or an English person.
This is hard for me because I consider both “Genie in a Bottle” and “Hit Me Baby One More Time” to be my jams, and if I were presented with a slice of flourless chocolate cake and rhubarb pie, I would shove them both in my mouth with equal gusto.
And the truth is that I enjoy calculating and conjugating.
I am thinking about this today because it’s National Pi Day (3/14), and just because I would be considered more of an English person, I don’t want to be left out of any Pi Day festivities.
Plus, I don’t think math and English are really as opposite as people think.
English is largely considered to be the wilder of the two while math is considered the more rational. To put it in Sweet Valley High terms, Jessica would be English and Elizabeth would be math. And, of course, there are aspects of English that are wild and creative, but it can also be quite mathematical. Writing essays actually reminds me of the proofs I used to have to do in geometry: in order to successfully prove the thesis, one must logically present the supporting points. Also, I remember the phrase “if and only if” from math, and I tell my students that we use a comma before and “if and only if” the and joins two independent clauses:
Comma: To celebrate Pi Day, I want to measure a circle’s diameter and circumference, and I also want to divide the circumference by the diameter.
No comma: To celebrate Pi Day, I want to measure a circle’s diameter and circumference and divide the circumference by the diameter.
And to top it off, math isn't always a stick in the mud. I know for a fact that Pi is totally irrational!
Do you consider yourself a math person or an English person? Or a little bit of both (manglish?)?