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## Monday, August 10, 2015

### Algebra in My Dreams

I should be finished with algebra for good, but I keep having dreams expressed in algebraic equations.

For example, night before last I dreamed the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, was a^2 and I needed to protect her from the mysterious Mr x by finding the proper quadratic equation and solving the formula. So if Elizabeth = a^2 + bx + c, then of course
a = -b + √[b^2 -4(a)(c)] /2a

solves the problem of ensuring Mr x gets put out of commission.

This is all the fault of my best friend, my son, and the author Susan Elia MacNeal.

My best friend and I indulge in the guilty pleasure of Majesty magazine, she buying them and sending them to me when she’s done reading. This time her shipment included the Times Literary Supplement, a treasure trove for us both of incredibly entertaining book reviews and witty letters to the editor. Having just finished tutoring my son through college algebra for a second, and >hooray!< successful, time, I was relaxing with the magazines and the TLS. I suppose I fell asleep thinking what fun it would be to now have time to write better book reviews than the one I did on Susan Elia MacNeal’s Princess Elizabeth’s Spy (see my Goodreads review here) and then I would have some fun posts to put into this blog again.

But how am I to think about witty book reviews when algebra keeps intruding on my dreams? For three nights in a row I’ve been awakened by the frustration of being unable to solve these dream equations. When I awake, I come slowly to my actual surroundings and from the frustration is born a sense of aggrieved exasperation.

I’m dreaming about algebra? Really? Sigh.