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Entry 4 -- The King of Math Dethroned

I guess I'd been waiting all morning for the first geometry class. This was going to be the pattern this year. I like math better than English or social studies. I like science as much as math sometimes. Biology turned out better than I thought, and I like French better than English but not as much as math. French and Biology come in second.

All this is subject to change. Right now social studies ranks dead last. We had row for geometry instead of tables so I grabbed a desk down near the front. High school is great this way, no assigned seating. I was sitting near Lenny. I did not care how he smelled. I might want his help. Math is hard, and Lenny is the best. He's also a sweet guy even though he doesn't have much tact around assholes. I realized now that he was probably fearless. I'm scaird of having the shit beaten out of me.

Fortunately, we did not have to worry about that for forty-five minutes. Our geometry teacher was an older man and he introduced himself and then passed out his "syllabus" This told us when the tests were and what units we'd be doing over the next few weeks.

Then we got going. He put ten equations on the board and told us to translate these in to the words of our axioms. Honors English started rooting around in her textbook, but she did not have time.

"I need ten of you to go down to the board," the teacher announced. "Stand up and count off by twos." There were twenty of us. All the even numbers went to the board. I was one. Honors English was one. We each got an equation.

Honors English grabbed one she said she knew and wrote it out and was back in her seat in a flash. I was angry at her for leaving me to suffer. I can read mathematical symbols though and write a sentence. I toughed it out. I was not sure.

I wrote. "The shortest distance between two points is the route directly between them." Yes, my English teacher would have liked this, but this was math. I slipped back to my seat in time to notice that one lonely axiom sat undone.

I glanced behind me. A kid with hair dyed black and all black clothes who lived in one of the new developments had gotten an unlucky two and gotten stuck with the axiom and he had been too shy and sensitive and scaird to go to the board. The teacher wasn't doing anything to stop it either.

"Will someone please take Tai's axiom?" asked the geometry teacher. Lenny glanced at me. I glanced at Lenny. He'd drawn a one and had gotten to watch all of us. He did not want to go to the board. Geometry was not algebra, so I took his place.

I think I got stuck with the hardest axiom the first time because the leftover one was much easier. I sat down. I hoped I hadn't made a fool of myself and I hadn't. I'd gotten all mine right. So too had Honors English and the rest of us.

The next step was figuring out how to apply axioms to geometric problems. This was sort of training for doing proofs which would have six to fifteen statements all leading to a conclusion, kind of like stories about math. Geometry from what I could tell today was a mix of math and English.

When class broke up I actually felt pretty good and then Lenny caught me in the hall on the way to the cafeteria. "Oisin, you were great!" he said. "You're really pretty good at math."

I smiled. From Lenny, that was a compliment. "Where we going to sit for lunch?" Lenny asked me next. That was when I remembered I needed a book for English. "Let's go to the library and eat out on the hill," I suggested.

"We don't have passes," complained Lenny.

"Do you think they'll look for them?" I asked. "I really need to go to the library."

Just then Joshua joined us. He could eat with Lenny and keep an eye out for marauding (what a great vocabulary word! They really do come in handy some time) assholes.

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