Welcome to my Y
Because at a rather difficult time in the school year, I'm writing about suicidal tendencies.
WHY I: WRITE SERIES 5
Let me start by laying out the following:
1) I don't currently have suicidal tendencies.
2) I used to. (Write what you know, eh?)
3) I am going through a rather difficult time right now.
Part of me was wondering if I should even bother to lay this out, given the limited number of people who keep up with my web serial. But seeing as it's probably my friends who do... yeah, you're the ones who are important to me, and I don't want you getting the wrong idea.
First, the timing is really rather coincidental, even apropos. I wrote about the parabola and her knife almost six weeks ago (I keep a buffer for the story), and her hints stretch back even further than that. I didn't feel particularly bad at the time I wrote it. Circumstances changed.
Current context: The reason I'm feeling like life is difficult at the moment comes from a few prongs. We're getting closer to exams, so lots of wrap-up tests, meaning more marking and more students stressing out over their current mark, all of which downloads into more work and stress on me. I also have to finish setting my exams, and summatives, for three separate courses AGAIN (there were some timetabling changes back in September), and thank the gods for my colleagues or I'd be beating my head into a wall, no question.
It doesn't help that after a year of trying to manage things locally for Cappies and the theatre, I have absolutely nothing tangible to show for it. Oh, tons of intangibles, lots of good feelings and the like, but nothing physical. I wasn't even in the show programme this year (of all years, when extra curriculars were going to hell) so yeah, when it was the cause of my one major spaz for the year, little depressed about that.
All of which is to say, I'm very much down on myself for my inability to accomplish what feels like the simplest things. Like motivating students (which actually isn't so simple), marking papers (I'm blogging now rather than doing it), and running clubs (having technical issues among other things). I can't even walk across a room without running into a chair.
But I'm not about to take real life as far as I do in Taylor's Polynomials: Series 5. Where math is taking depression to the next level.
WHY MATH IS SUICIDAL
That should be obvious. Because it's hated. And when you're hated enough, you start to hate yourself, and to think that if you weren't there, everybody else would be happy. Which is a lot of nonsense, but not when you're at the centre of it.
In retrospect, a better question might be, how can one personify mathematics and NOT have it become suicidal? At least, given the culture we're living in today.
Parabola has become the actual voice for it. Partly because she's one of my original three, but also because I think she's my favourite, and I have a thing for torturing my favourite characters. Also because students seem to hate her more than any other function. Oh, and because of ViHart. In particular, the way one of her videos built up cardioids by metaphorically slamming the parabola to the ground and stomping on her. (Bullying much?) I've actually referenced that video in my serial too, way back in September.
Things haven't been any easier on Para since then. I foreshadowed the knife. It's subtle, look for it. And things will get worse for her.
One of my math characters is going to die.
YOU'RE NOT MAKING ME WANT TO READ
Sorry. To make it this far in the post, I figured you were reading already.
See, after two years at this, I've kind of accepted that personified math is not as much of a turn on as personified history.
Moreover, I still haven't found my audience. I think I've determined that it's NOT students, or math teachers, or writers... so for now, it's still me. Me and the few people who enjoy the bizarre way I think.
In the back of my mind, I'm also telling myself that I'm ahead of my time. That in about two years, math will be more interesting, and people will have the desire to scroll through years of backlog. (At least one mentioned they've tried - hi Audrey M, if you happen to be reading!) In the meantime, the writing is vaguely cathartic, and also, I hope, socially relevant.
That's why I write Series 5.
By the way, anyone notice that, along with the depression angle, there's a subplot dealing with same sex couples? Yeah, that's not only fan service, it's going somewhere. Where? Well, that's a good question. My buffer runs out in two weeks, I need to refill it.
In the meantime, I teach. And occasionally suffer from low self esteem.
Such is life.
|"Back up. One of your math characters is going to DIE?!"