X-tra X-tra la la. Not Reality Television.

May 4, 2011

” This problem sucks / why would you go make a problem like that / this teacher is evil. ”
These words taken out of the context of a math student working on their take home test and replaced into a scenario of a interpersonal human dynamic makes me stop, linger on the expression, remain silent and smile.

Problems are problems, and the reactions are so much more objective when we are speaking of math.  People who shed light on an opportunity for a problem to be solved, who create problems, who propose that there is a problem to be solved, who give it to someone else, could be viewed as a teacher.  They also may be a friend, a lover, a hinderance, a challenger, a stranger etc.  Mostly, they are an obstacle to ourselves.  An obstacle in coming to terms, identifying the variables and stabilizing a playing field.  We problem solve in order to move through the world, in order to pass tests.

It is in moving from one state to another that my brain nearly explodes with necessity to solve (non-mathematical) problems.  The major problem i have is my inability to pinpoint a desired goal.  I am of the philosophy that where you are is where you should be and therefore, steps taken to get somewhere else are loosely premeditated but small in measure.  I also despise measuring things (except for in those cases when you have to move something heavy and are uncertain if it will fit where you are going and you don’t want to lug it just to find out its going to be awkward in another space. so, in that case, i think you should measure to know what to leave behind before you move that thing to fit in (unless you want it to stick out)) but sometimes you don’t even know the size of the next space so, again, its useless to measure! any  incremental advancements are mostly of un-notable mention.  Seems that a good chunk of time spent always gets you somewhere though because you get to have a good idea of what the shape and size of your space and things are, and they can be re-arranged according to changing moods.  Adding is complicated though, however, direct.  Multiplying is less direct but adds dimension,  Dividing is painful, subtraction can lead to negative valence.

Things can not always be solved in a short time frame, and having a good chunk of time available at the beginning of a problem gives way to less time the more you work on it, unless you prioritize it.  The problem must be imperative.  Sometimes we forget to give emotional problems priority and forget about closure.  Other times emotions overwhelm our brainpower to come to closure as they do not let us think clearly!  Still at other times, non emotional problems become emotional problems simply by remaining unsolved!

All and all, problems are problems and they feel good to solve. my own inability to identify goals is the number one problem in my own problem solving methods.   Purposelessness seems valuable in some right, maybe it is just a place holder.  My sense of purpose does correspond with my dreams and desires, and i shall focus on them, find or create consistency,  and quiet my doubtful insides.  Plus, in addition to, i found The Foxfire Book – hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts and foods, planting by the signs, snake lore, hunting tales, faith healing, moonshining, and other affairs of plain living in the Franklin Library. For now, problem solved.

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