Mathemagic

“So what do you think?” I asked for the fifth time. Kathy had looked away from the sheaf of papers, so maybe she was actually done reading this time. She looked up at me, this time without the glare of annoyance.

“I think your penmanship is atrocious,” she said. “And that you seriously need a remedial class in basic algebra.” Her mouth was tucked in at the ends, though. I knew what that meant.

“You think I really have something?” I asked. I had been pacing the whole time she read my summary. I started again. “Even with the horrendous math? I mean, the equations are kind of –”

Kathy laughed in her usual glittery-waterfall way. “Oddly enough, more than half your errors are canceled out by other errors. It actually looks like a really solid basis. Have you ever looked into particle modeling?”

“Um,” I began. I briefly considered acting like I had. I hated looking ignorant. On the other hand, Kathy always saw right through it. “I have no idea what that is.”

“It’s…” Her mouth twisted as she pondered her explanation. “It’s kind of hard to explain without a graduate-level course or two. Fortunately, there’s computer programs that take care of the heavy lifting these days. It might be able to help you prove this out with the side benefit of not risking killing yourself in the process.”

“Always an added bonus,” I replied. “I only get the one free resurrection per year and I’d rather save it for something important.”

Kathy waited for me to laugh. I didn’t. Then she laughed herself as she realized I wasn’t joking.

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