## May 5, 2010

By Caleb Sheldon

Determining the length of any line on a cartesian plot is as easy as integrating sqr(1+[dy/dx]^2)dx, but not, of course, before finding y in often ridiculous terms of x. And let us not forget that if your equation graces parametric boundaries, forgetting to find dx/dt and dy/dt could literally turn your Cartesian world around, and placing dx/dt in the numerator rather than the denominator could turn your dy/dx into fu in terms of ck, or as Leibniz would notate, dfu/dck. Or if you want to find it in terms of factorial ck, an exclamation mark would, as you probably already know, be required.

Meanwhile, I subtract the d and the / from Leibniz's notation, my foot falls asleep as another trigonometric substitution fits perfectly into this length-determining process, the anti-derivative of the improper integral is found, and a limit is taken in a very non-Mean Girls kind of way, which means Calculus without the cinematically implanted Lohan perks.

"Evaluate the limit," she says, "as n reaches infinite from points A to point B."

Your mom goes from point A to point B, I think. Why am I so lame, I continue thinking. Was this wrinkle on my palm yesterday? Is my hand aging faster than I am? Is my folder aqua blue or aquamarine? Am I lame because I sit here and come up with sexual innuendos for every single math phrase that comes out of my teacher, who is obviously among the sexually destitute, or is it because of this ugly stick figure dragon?

"Now if you forget this little kink, you will never find the second derivative of parametric equations."

My eyes dart from my aging palm to the white board expecting to see the same mumble as 1 minute ago, but to my dismay, I see a mess that wasn't there a minute ago. A mess that would have been clean if I had not been thinking about the difference between dragons and ballerinas for 12 seconds, my aging palm for 32, and whether my teacher gets laid or not for another 16. Fuck. Not fu in terms of ck. Fuck. Fuck and Fuck and Fuck. I'm screwed, I continue thinking. What's the kink? I turn to look at my neighbor's paper to find a pretty stick figure drawing of a ballerina. She draws a ballerina, and I draw a dragon. What's the kink? She is a girl. Of course she doesn't do math or draw dragons. Guys like dragons and math, and girls like ballerinas. Hehe...foolish girl. Fu in terms of ck, and sh in terms of it, what is the damn kink?!

"And that equation, you will use for the rest of your life. And without knowing this proof, you will never remember it."

My eyes dart yet again from the wedding ring I had been staring at on my teacher's hand to the same white board from a minute ago. The mess that had filled 18'x6' of space and started my tangent was, in all its complicated glory, gone. In its place, another monster of a proof. A vital sequence. Why is she doing this? Why does she have to write more than one sequence per class? Why more than one lesson per class? A vital sequence. A sequence that would determine my death or existence. I looked at the n's, the P's, the T's, the several variables of x, the lower case letters...what am I going to do, I continued thinking.

That group of numbers in the upper left corner of the white board looks unusually like a dog, I continue thinking even more. Tangents consume. Hammurabi used to equip his soldiers with armored dogs, I continue thinking even more more, and the word Hammurabi kind of reminds me of the word Hannibal, which represents a person who also worked with war animals. I like animals. I don't think I would have liked being one of Hannibal's elephants. Dolphins are pretty. I wish I were a dolphin because then I could enjoy the frills of sex without the burden of a wife. Being a human means you need to find wife, which involves finding someone worthy of being a wife, which then requires feelings to be reciprocated, which requires being a functioning person, which requires getting a job (because no woman likes a man without a job), which involves getting a college education, which requires taking courses, which requires taking this course, which requires me to find the dy/dx of this parametric equation.

At this point, I realize that me determining dy/dx of this parametric equation is connected to me getting laid. Purpose, I think. Grand divine purpose. A sexual purpose/journey that was probably figured out by my teacher when she was in college learning Calculus. I finally get it. She is teaching us how to get laid. I then pick up my pencil which had been longing for my hand's warmth, proceed to look at the board, decipher alphas from betas, constants from variables, proof sequences from isolated equations, and beg the beginning of my journey toward getting laid.

How do you spell 'laid'? Is it 'layed' or 'laid'? The mere thought of the complexities of this ambiguous spelling dilemma force me to put down my pencil, which result in a moments rest, which allow me just enough time to contemplate the agonies of eternal masturbation.