AI: In Between

AI: In Between

I’ve got my Trigonometry final exam today. Being in Trig as an adult is a weird experience, because many 16 year olds are ahead of me in math, and many of my adult friends never got beyond basic Algebra. Trig is in this weird in between place, between the bare essentials for a high school education, and the kinds of math that “math people” do. I’m in the process of getting to the mathy parts of math (Calculus 1 next semester woohoo!) but I’m not there yet.

I am also not a foodie. I like good food, I cook, I eat fresh vegetables, but I also will happily toss a frozen pizza in the oven, or eat a box of macaroni and cheese. I have friends who haven’t purchased fresh produce in years and don’t know what hummus is. I also have friends who would never stoop so low as to LOOK at a Hot Pocket, much less put it in their mouths. I don’t have many friends in between like me, and I am often embarrassed around my foodie friends.

There are many ways in which I feel like I live my life in between extremes. This is mostly a good thing, but it creates awkward moments too – like the time I brought an expensive store-bought pie to a party with foodies, and no one ate it because it wasn’t home made with organic apples and butter from grass-fed cows that get daily massages. Half of my friends think my ability to graph a sine curve is basically magic, and the other half very kindly help me with my homework like I’m a cute second grader.

Are you in between in some way? Is it comfortable for you, or awkward? Isn’t the word awkward totally weird? Am I spelling that wrong?

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. In college, I majored in physics but spent all my spare time acting or working in the theater. I currently work in an embryology research lab, but as an outreach educator who goes to schools and does science programs with kids. I also still do a decent amount of community theater. In the theater world, I’m the “science guy,” the one who can be relied upon to do math and such. At work, I’m one of if not the only people without an advanced degree, and haven’t had a formal biology class since high school. There, people marvel at my ability to present information and be comfortable on stage.

    To sciency for theater, too theatrical for science. Should this be a cross-post on Mad Art Lab?

  2. as an inveterate dabbler, i commiserate! :)

  3. I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but the math that “math people” do doesn’t start until after calc. The standard calc classes aren’t taught like “math people” class are taught. The “math people” calc class is typically called advanced calc.

    Don’t let that discourage you though. Calculus I-III is boring, but math classes become incredibly more fun after them.

    • Betting you’re one of those “math people”.
      I’m a physics major, and I loved the calculus, differential equations was nifty, and I’m slamming my head into the wall on partial differential equations, but it’s the last math class I need for undergrad and I’m stubborn enough to try again.

      I’m only “math people” if you’re not “math people”.

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