English or math-Which Would You Rather Choose?

     Throughout my four years at Fremd, I can recall countless numbers of times when math teachers have insulted English or vise versa. One comment especially from a previous math teacher will always stay in my mind. A fellow student raised his hand and asked “Are we learning something today?”  To which our math teacher replied with a straight face,” No, I’m going to put in a movie and waste the whole week watching it and the next few days discussing it. Off course we’re learning something! What do you think this is, an English class?” I couldn't resist laughing as I realized that there is a bit of truth in that statement. Now don’t get me wrong. I am an English lover, for the most part. I would prefer to analyze poetry over solving an equation any day. But, for all math nerds who laugh at English and for all the English nerds who look at math like it’s a foreign language, it makes me wonder; which one is really harder?

    I guess it depends on what type of person you are. Some people are logical, and therefore are able to understand math very well. Math lovers tell me that it is very straight forward and simple. All you have to do is learn a set of rules and follow them to get one perfect answer. They say English is confusing, and there is never one right answer. Well that’s what I don’t understand. If there is more than one right answer, the probability of you getting it wrong decreases. (How’s that for a little math, huh?) English is quite simple too. Language is meant to be analyzed by the reader. In a story or poem, sure the writer did have his/her own original ideas; however, once it’s in a reader’s hands, it’s up to the reader to figure out what it means. There are so many ways to interpret a piece of writing that it’s nearly impossible to get it wrong. Unless you’re totally off. For example, you read a story about a girl living in poverty and analyze it to be about a fish swimming in a lake. Well, metaphorically speaking, you may be right.Who knows? Anything is possible in English. Whereas with math, you make one simple mistake, and that’s it…you get the whole problem wrong. 


     Now you may agree or disagree with me, but personally I think English is an easier subject to understand than math. That’s just how my brain works. Oh, and there’s one exception. If I’m ever asked to analyze Faulkner’s writing, I would rather do my calculus homework, over and over again.

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Comment by Lauren Marek on March 19, 2012 at 9:15pm

I totally agree with you. I used to be such a math lover. We would stroll together on the beach and hold hands and be happy. These days, math is cold; distant. We're never in sync.

 With English, you use evidence to back up a conclusion you make. And the best part is, a lot of English is based on interpretation. Even if you're a little off, you get praised for an interesting theory. Try using that excuse for why you should get some credit on a math test if you get an answer wrong. "Well, Mr. Math Teacher, I know the answer was 65, but I thought of it more as 63. Partial credit for being on the right track?" Nope.

Comment by Andrew Lundholm on March 19, 2012 at 9:43pm

A little english and math in my life is just in balance.  I like that in English I experience new stories and get new experiences such as public speaking.  In math I lose all my uniqueness, because there is something that everyone will learn the same way, whereas in English it is up to the student to find what they want to take away.  According to the school, isn't English the only required class for all four years, so doesn't that voice the schools opinion?  What really bothers me about English is when you are graded on a subjective scale on the teachers opinion like in an art class, in which case you'll never know if your writing will get you an A, whereas in math, you can be sure that after you finish a problem that you get it correct. 

Comment by Suzanne Reidelberger on March 19, 2012 at 9:46pm

I've never heard an English or Math teacher dis the other subject, but shame on any who do! I love them both. Love to read & interpret, and love math. However, you're right in that I think everyone kind of is better at one or the other. I'm definitely better with math. But there are some universal difficulties in each subject. Numbers and equations can be very distant and abstract, while some poems and prose selections can be very abstract, or just plain dense, and difficult to decipher. But I don't think one is better than the other, and that makes me a little sad that teachers make fun of other subjects!

Comment by Soumya Vhasure on March 19, 2012 at 10:00pm

I feel like many math lovers dislike English because it's so much harder to determine who's good at it and who isn't. With math, if you consistently get the single right answer, then you're good at math. With English, like you said, even if you're off, you still get praised for having an interesting theory. And it's extremely subjective. My former English teacher told me a story where another teacher gave a creative writing piece a low grade not because it was poorly written but because she didn't like the way it ended. 

Comment by Garrett Peters on March 19, 2012 at 10:21pm

Gotta have that MATH!  For me unlike many others, I don't like that fact that much of English is left up to interpretation.  I'd rather have something where that answer is either right or wrong.  A subject where to get that one correct answer relies on formulas and numbers.  Therefore, for me I would choose math.  Furthermore, I believe that math courses give me more of a challenge then english and are therefore more engaging.

Comment by Takuzo Kimura on March 19, 2012 at 11:10pm

Zimolzak would not even consider this a question...

Comment by Venus Fan on March 20, 2012 at 1:10am

In many ways I agree with the points you're making, but English is often too tough to get right. Although at times, random guesses and shots in the dark prove to be the "right" English interpretation, math is so much easier to grasp a concept or equation that is not as abstract as English often is. With math, even more complex ideas, such as in calculus, there is usually a visual that can help aid the frustration that comes with the difficulty in understanding what is going on. Comparatively, with English, there is so much to be interpreted and can be done so many ways, that writing is sometimes too thick to comprehend with any ease. In my opinion, math is a more interesting subject because of the neat ways it works. However, with English, there is always a good discussion that comes as a result, and it is fascinating the different ways that any little thing can be interpreted from reader to reader. 

Comment by Nathaniel on March 20, 2012 at 1:15am

So with math, we know what Newton wanted with calculus, and what Einstein wanted with general relativity, because it is all explicitly stated and written down. But with english we say "oh I think [Author] meant that the fish is poverty and  the bowl represents the hopelessness of it." Well what if the [Author] was just freaking talking about a goldfish swimming in a bowl. I feel like in English we make mountains out of mole hills, which has it's worth and place, but we do it so much that it is completely forced. I'm tired of saying an author meant this or that, let's just let the author write this or that, and then accept it for what it is. If [Author] wanted to talk about the hopelessness of poverty he would write a book called The Hopelessness of Poverty and not the freaking Cat in the Hat.

Comment by Caili Chen on March 20, 2012 at 3:56pm

I'm definately a math person. I like it when there's  a correct answer. While it's true that in life there are many solutions to the same problem, there isn't an infinite amount of solutions. English is just way to much analyzing. Many times we talk about the hidden meanings behinds seemingly ordinary events. It makes me wonder if the author actually meant to include those things or if we're simply just made it up.

Comment by Kelly Dudar on March 20, 2012 at 4:02pm

I'm a math person even though I don't like it. I agree with you that math is straight forward and simple, which is why I like it. I can't analyze anything in English class so I like that there's only one answer that you don't have to think about deeply to get it.


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