A Bit of Struggle
Today I went to math circle. At the math circle, I usually sat in my chair silently, only raising my hand occasionally to answer a question. I am one of the youngest, I was afraid I would get the answer wrong, and I was a little shy. Today the teacher gave us a question to solve, then asked if anyone would like to explain his answer. It was an awkward moment of silence. The rest of the class was waiting for somebody to raise his hand. I knew the answer and I was having a silent argument with myself. “Yes! Raise your hand!”, “No!”. But this time, I summoned my courage and raised my hand. A small voice in my head said: “Are you weird or something?! What if you get the answer wrong?!” But another voice that sounded remarkably like my mom’s said: “Go ahead! If you get the wrong answer it’s okay!” “Please come up to the board to explain your work,” the teacher said, smiling. As I walked up to the blackboard, the voices inside my head continued to argue. “Pretend you need to go to the bathroom!” the first voice said desperately. “It’s fine, you won’t die if you get it wrong! Keep going!” The other voice replied. Finally, my feet stopped in front of the blackboard. I raised the chalk and began to write. “Drop the chalk!” yelled the first voice. I continued to write. Then I began explaining. In the beginning, I was a little shy, but as I grew more and more confident, my voice grew louder. I looked at the teacher first, then scanned the faces of my audience to make sure that no one had fallen asleep. Finally, I finished explaining. “Beautiful explanation,” said the teacher, “just beautiful!” The second voice said “I told you so!” and the first voice was fuming. Even so, I felt accomplished and proud.
After that, my mom and I went to a Japanese barbeque place for a “girls’ day out”. We saw math there too!! My mom asked the waitress if the fried shishito peppers she was ordering were spicy. The waitress told us that the peppers are usually mild, but one out of ten is spicy. I knew that it was a 1/10 chance that the pepper you ate would be spicy. Hoping I wouldn’t get a spicy one, I bit into the green pepper. I got a spicy one anyway.