Posted by Elithraniel Arawion on Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Ok you might have not understood my title and i'll explain what IDE is. In my college.. we get to choose an Inter-Disciplinary Elective every 2 semesters since the 2nd year. This sem, we had the same and i had already made up my mind to choose 'event management' which was offered by the business admin department. And me being mathematically challenged (i'm the kinda person who thinks 1+2 = 12), i'd have been the last person on this planet to choose maths as an elective.
As the campus tv announcement started about the different electives, i was half sleeping and half listening. I didn't listen to them mention that 'Game theory and decision making', which, according to me, have nothing to do with maths, was infact offered by that same dept. But i didn't hear them mention that cause i was too engrossed in eating chapathi and channa from a friend's tiffen box.
Finally, we had to jot down 4 options, according to our preference and they would give us what they think would do us good. As they listed the courses for the last time, i was suddenly struck by 'Game theory (i'm a game addict, u see) and decision making (i'm yet to make a decision on my future, so you know!)'. I thought it was offered by the comp sci dept and was all geared up to learn something about 'Age of Empires' and 'Warcraft' (my eternal love) and all. I let go of my event management dream and signed up for 'Game theory' along with one other friend, who was also under the same impression.
The next day, i come to know that i have voluntarily chosen to commit suicide by signing up for MATHS! Well, it's not like i'm really bad at maths. Just that MATHS DOES NOT SEEM TO LIKE ME. IT EVADES ME AT THE MOST IMPORTANT TIMES AND I BLINK AND STARE AS THOUGH I HAVE NEVER SEEN NUMBERS IN MY LIFE.
I left maths 4 years back after i chose to take commerce with english in school. My love-hate relationship came to a thankful end, except for the basic addition and subtraction in accounts, which i was thankfully good at. Well, if u count out the addition mistake in my board exam that cost me a 200/200 :P where i added that 4000 + 4000 = 10, 000. I dunno how i came up with that.
Anyway, i hoped against hope that they would see that i had given event management as second option and realise i'm not too good a mathematician and put me in the other. But, as luck would have it, i got MATHS.... My decision making skills need alot of tweaking!
I entered the class, wondering how on earth i was gonna cope and a very nice looking lady walked in. I hoped she would teach well. But as soon as she opened her mouth, i opened mine too. I mean, my jaw dropped. I heard a squeak instead of a voice! If that wasn't so bad, her speed... my god! she could beat a concorde!
My already sluggish brain, which usually switches off anywhere near numbers, snored very loudly as Ms. Minnie mouse (my new name for her) squeaked on and on about 'operational research' and about 'probability' and what not. Here's an excert from her speech:
Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, am i right ma? Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak am i right ma? Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, am i right ma? Squeak, Squeak, Squeak.
The following are the words i deciphered through constant training of being under another friend who had a very similar problem:
"1 rupee coin." "Certainity." "Heads or tails." "Only that." "Nothing else."
Because boredom reached new heights, i started randomly writing names of people i know, ticking off people i'm not in touch with when my ma'am approached me. "Did you understand ma?", she asked in a span of half a second. It took me 1 minute to understand. "Yes ma'am", i replied, taking 2 complete seconds to say them. "What are you doing ma?", she asked.
I looked down at my notebook. "Probability", i chanced, remembering a word she used in between her squeaking. "What sum? I haven't even given any exercise?", she asked. "I'm writing my own example ma'am. In a condition of certainity, i'm ticking off all those people ill probably be in touch with through out my life and those who probably will be chucked out. There are only two status of nature's here. Be in touch, not in touch. Alternatives are the names of my friends. I'm tabulating the result ma'am", i surprised myself, wondering how i had understood her squeaking and my ability to deliver coherent answers concerning maths.
She looked puzzled and then asked, "Really ma?". I nodded "Yes ma'am". She seemed to consider it for a minute. She looked at my faithful companion who was at my side. "Yes ma'am, i was just helping her multiply", she replied, making me believe a sigh of relief. "Show me once you finish the sum ma. Am i right?", she squeaked again. "Done ma'am", i smiled.
The class went on and when the clock struck 1, i sneaked out of the class so that she doesn't see me. Now, i am stuck with 'Homework'. I have to probablise ( is that a word?) my friendship and convert it into a mathematical problem.
Like Minnie Mouse told us in our very first minute of class "Any problem can be converted into a mathematical problem maaaa".