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Why do I torture myself so?

Sometimes, I am dedicated to my craft to a frankly absurd degree. Let me tell you about the latest instance.

The second Ravenstone book's main protagonist is a twelve year old girl who can do large sums in her head, and tests into Algebra 2 (which is like, pre-trigonometry or something). Which, right there, that's enough for this entry on its own, given that I personally SUCK at math. But it gets better (or worse), because even though I haven't actually gotten to this part in the story yet, I just wrote part of a future scene where the other kids in her math class are testing her acumen. There is one algebra question in particular, took me like four hours to create and verify, and she solves it in about thirty seconds... in her head!

Let me explain this monstrosity of an equation: one side was really complicated, with parentheses and brackets, a couple numbers to the nth power, involving multiplication, addition, and subtraction, with a variable, X, to solve for. The answer side, where it's normally the 149 in X(14)-12=149 for instance, was another complicated equation of the same nature, but this time with no variable. So before you can solve for X, you have to figure out what the answer side's number even is. Which is far more complicated than anything I remember learning in school.

Now keep in mind that half of this time I spent relearning algebra on the fly, checking my answers with Wolfram Alpha dozens - nay, scores - of times until both sides were right, throwing away a bunch of equations with weird decimals in them, going crazy every time something didn't add up, and then when I had both sides correct, spending twenty or thirty minutes trying to work out how to solve for X in the equation I'd just created. I was exhausted when I was finally done with it, but I still had to write her actually solving it. So I did, and she fucking breezed right through it like it was third grade math!

Seriously, I went into this hoping to give her something it'd take her at least a minute or two to solve, I put all those hours of grueling work into it, and then she was like "LOL bitch you THOUGHT!" And BAM, she solved it in less than thirty seconds. I just got fucking schooled by an imaginary twelve year old!

This is why I'm trying to rope a statistics teacher friend of mine into helping me with the math stuff, because I can't even begin to imagine what an equation Vedya would find challenging would even look like. Seriously, all the other kids in her class are high schoolers using graphing calculators, and here I'm starting to think she's not even going to bother bringing any kind of calculator to class! O_o

So yeah, like I said, I have an absurd level of dedication to my craft.

Edit: Oh yeah, and let's not forget that she can do square roots in her head well enough to recognize when one would have an infinite decimal. In one bit, she says the answer to a problem is "two point some absurdly long decimal. Give me something humanly possible to solve, please."

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1405399.html
You can comment either here or there.


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