The View From Here
(Hey kids, this is me trying to do fictitious slam poetry about a relationship gone a muck seen through the lens of mathematics.   It's meant to be read aloud, so go ahead and read this outloud with some rhythm [so long as you're not in a public place and you won't embarrass yourself.])

You and I are a negative association,
(Where I'm X and you're Y)
and I don't just mean that when we associate it's a negative experience,
I'm talking mathematics. 
Because no matter how much positive input I give you,
you just keep giving me more and more negative output. 

But actually, that suggests too strong a relationship,
when in reality,
we have no line of best fit. 
If someone tried to graph our data,
our correlation would be zero. 



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Snow makes everything soft.  The earth looks like a body laying under a blanket; sharp elbow and knees are smoothed into bell curves.  The headlights of an oncoming car are gently diffused out amongst the falling snowflakes and the fallen snowflakes. 
The colder it gets, the closer the smokers creep towards the building, as if it were a dragon whose heat would reach them only if they were closer to the doors. 
Snow turns the ground into the endless pages of a new notebook,
waiting to be written upon. 
First, the snow plows and the salt trucks trace out the big lines: the roads. 
Then people shovel their driveways and sidewalks, saying "This is where I walk." 
And everywhere we go footprints tell the tale of where we have been. 
So we've written across the pages of the world, before the white paper disappears with the gaze of the sun. 
When I walked into the college library at eight o clock one morning last week, I was practically the only one there because college students don't like to get up early.  This was probably a good thing because there weren't as many people to stare at me when the gray clad sentinels that guard the door drew their swords and charged at me. 

OK, so they didn't come to life, or try to impale me on outdated weapons of war.  But they did beep at me, which is something that's never happened to me in my life.  I stopped and looked over at the desk where one of the librarians was standing.  I think I gave her a terrified look. 
"Do you have any library books in your bag?"
"Do you have any new textbooks?"
"That's probably what set it off."
That was it?  "Do you want to check my bag?" 
"No," she said.  "But thank you for stopping." 
I then realized that she probably wouldn't need to check to see if I was smuggling books into the library. 

A few minutes later I remembered that I did have library books in my backpack (Dracula by Bram Stoker and Deerskin by Robin McKinley)- books from the public library. 
So in the interest of being completely honest, I went back to the librarian and told her about the books from the other library.  "Yes, that could set it off."  She said.  "Just tell whoever is at the desk that you have public library books in your backpack and be patient with us until we learn who you are and that you beep." 

The rest of the day I was very conscious about my comings and goings through the doors of the library.  Every time I came in I had to explain myself to the desk staff, and every time I went out I had to warn a librarian that I would set off the alarms. 

But this turned out to have an advantage. 
Later that day, when  I attempted to check out History of Modern Europe vol. I, the librarian hailed me as "The Girl Who Always Beeps."
"I'm Hannah," I said. 
She shook my hand "Tami."
The book was out.  So I went off to the little colony of desks gathered beneath the sign proclaiming "Quiet Area," resigned to doing my math homework. 

I had just settled down to Andrew Peterson and histograms when Tami walked by.  "Hannah, somebody just checked that textbook back in if you want it." 
"That would be lovely." 
And so I got my textbook because I set off the alarm. 

I think the moral of the story is that when "bad" things happen, I meet people.  When unusual occurrences occur, they force me out of my usual way of doing things, and I get to try new ways of doing things. 

Oh, and I'm so keeping, "The Girl Who Always Beeps."  I will hereafter be know as Hannah, The Girl Who Always Beeps.  Maybe I should get a business card with my new title.  I wonder if the talent of beeping is good for anything...