Love or hate–or both

I have often wondered if there could be a doubt existing as to which emotion held sway over the other—love or hate. One day when skies seemed greyest (for I was just leaving the door of the Mathematics room) the queerest feeling swept over me! The flux of emotions was maddening. I knew not whether I was thoroughly disgusted with Mathematics, thoroughly loved Mathematics or thoroughly hated the stuff. Always before this dark afternoon, I had in a sort of half interested, luke-warm way, attributed my feelings about the matter to utter dislike of numbers in general. But the humiliation of a doubt arising after all these years was unbearable.

By a student in 1929

Setonian Staff Writer

I have often wondered if there could be a doubt existing as to which emotion held sway over the other—love or hate. One day when skies seemed greyest (for I was just leaving the door of the Mathematics room) the queerest feeling swept over me! The flux of emotions was maddening. I knew not whether I was thoroughly disgusted with Mathematics, thoroughly loved Mathematics or thoroughly hated the stuff. Always before this dark afternoon, I had in a sort of half interested, luke-warm way, attributed my feelings about the matter to utter dislike of numbers in general. But the humiliation of a doubt arising after all these years was unbearable.

High School Mathematics is one thing, and College, another, but one thing you can say for it, it simply will not be ignored. No one can be passive in a course of Mathematics. You are either in the course or you are not. Mathematics is rather snobbish in its own way. You can feel so “out of things,” and that is exactly the way I felt on this particular afternoon. I had been ignored by the Mathematics, and I particularly dislike being ignored by anyone, much less by something that I believed I had harbored a dislike for, upwards of fifteen years.

There was this problem—but then it is too terrible to state. Anyway there was this about it. It was it was vague, and yet when I was in the “inner circle” of it, I had the delicious feeling of belonging. The feeling warmed, encouraged me, and thrilled me! Perhaps this affair and another are analogous. You think that you dislike a person. He ignores you.

You are incensed, and yet are filled with the spirit of conquering that person’s attention. You think about this for so long that the emotion borders on love. And this is what happened to me on the greyest of days. I believe that I am sure that my emotion for the Mathematics is the thing that makes the world go ‘round!

                           Rosalia C. Pfeiffer, ‘29