My Writing Life - Studying math?

I wrote stories from the day I learned to write and told them as soon as I could talk (maybe even earlier). But somehow I ended up going to college to do math. Not only that, I ended up doing maths, physics and further math for my last two years of high school, and nothing else. So why math?

I think it all began when I was about ten. I had to do an entrance exam to get into my high school. One of the papers was on mathematics. It had strange-looking questions about x and y and xy. Since I'd never seen any algebra before, I deduced that xy meant 10x plus y and solved all mysteries accordingly. I was hugely embarrassed when my school-friends explained my mistake.

Years later, the teacher talked about imagination and math. He said how he'd once had a student do an entrance exam with lots of imagination but completely the wrong idea. Then he offered us the chance to do a page of exercises for homework, or write a "mathematical essay." I wrote about waves. Math and imagination--and beauty of course; I was hooked.


  1. Oh, so that's how you got hooked into math. Could you share something about that "mathematical essay" you were talking about? You wrote about waves, right? It would be cool if you shared a creative understanding of what waves are.

  2. It was a long (long) time ago. I remember I wrote about how sine waves add together to make more complex shapes. I included some concepts about ocean depth and what happens as the waves approach the shore, waves reflecting from rocks, that kind of thing, and (the imagination bit), the sound waves, the waves of wind on my face, thoughts waving through my head, tree-branches in the breeze and grasses waving on sand-dunes like an ocean on the land. The essay was probably at least as jumbled as my answer :)