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An Extended Metaphor about why Math Class is Hell

It glared at me, mocking me, jeering at me. It silently screamed wicked taunts at my nervous gaze, flawlessly manipulating what made me sweat the most. It knew how to take advantage of my fear, my dread of what awaited. Standing high on the wall, it’s demonic face of 12 numbers and twitching hands tortured me with a snide smile. I arduously tried to avoid its evil glare and the way the spherical white face, splashed with ominous black numbers, laughed almost sadistically at my suspense. 1:26 PM it shouted at me, 60 seconds until I was devoured by … HER. This horrific face shrilled sharply in my ears and resonated throughout my body. “1:27 PM,” it roared with unimaginable zeal. It seemed to be only Friday afternoon, deep in the foreboding section of the towers of the dreary Washingtonville Castle, known merely as ‘Room 321′, but to me and the other 27 hostages it was undoubtedly the end of our lives.

The sinister numerical face laughed hysterically – it knew that this was the brief period of intense anticipation, the everlasting minutes before the hostages were to be consumed in a whirlwind of confusion, swept of their intelligence and thrust into a muddled and intricate world of bizarre trigonometry, logarithms, and mathematical induction. SHE entered our prison, quickly scanned the hostages – checking for any escapees – and proceeded to the central console. The console, which was black as night, smooth as the blade of a knife, and smelled of a chalky substance, was situated in the front of the dungeon, dead centered on the wall, and blatantly visible to all the hostages. The hostages and myself all felt the apprehension vividly by now. It appeared to bubble and spout hot steam as boiling water inside a black tea kettle does. Our imprisoner reached the grim black console and entered the simple code ‘D-O-space-N-O-W,’ leading directly to our incarceration.

In a matter of moments the hostages and I were secured within HER suffocating reign. The white face of numbers no longer laughed at us, it laughed inside our bodies. Inside this nefarious clock where we were captive a void existed where x factorials and square roots thundered by like lightning. SHE began releasing negative reciprocals and radical denominators without encumbrance and as they soared over our heads we had only a moment to analyze this perplexity. Enslaved inside this horological nightmare, HER voice was the drone of the enigmatic clock mechanisms. The tortuous and elaborate equations that SHE spewed forth attacked us and rumbled against our minds. The pinions and regulators slithered alongside spouting forth the limit of n factor as it approaches infinity and quadratic formulas the size of monsters.

SHE seized the minutes hand, forcing it to cease all movement as HER haunting equations moved sinuously around the seconds hand, entangling it in an impermeable grasp of mathematics. The hostages and myself fully comprehended the severity of our situation. We were trapped by HER whims, only to be released when the labyrinthine web of equations was solved and deducted. The desperate struggle of pinions and regulators as they attempted to free themselves of HER grip, like a car that refuses to start, was helped by the hostages and my attempts at translating and solving these vicious equations.

SHE flung more complex fractions and synthetic division at our weakened brains and they clamored around the innards of the clock like bullets ricocheting off metal but we fought back vigorously. Finally HER snakelike grip slipped and the minutes hands flung forward towards 2:12 PM like starving lions towards a fresh kill. There was a moment of complete chaos and turmoil as the seconds rushed forth and SHE battled to regain control. But it was futile; the hostages had won, narrowly escaping doom.

Horological = referring to clocks

Pinions and regulators = gears of a clock


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