If you want to feel really really stupid, go see The Martian.
It was a really good movie, it was really well done. They did a good job moving between enough places where you didn’t feel isolated and forgotten on Mars with Matt Damon. However, had you been left on Mars with his character, you would have felt really really really lame. Incompetent doesn’t begin to describe it.
I’m the type of person who immediately went dark when a word problem was presented to me in school. Immediately. To say I am not math or science-minded is an understatement. This movie was one giant math problem. When a sentence begins with “When you factor in the velocity of the space craft with the atmosphere acceleration..” blah blah blah, my mind shuts off before the word “veloci –
So to say I had some anxiety during the film is fair. This character though, God bless ‘im, was the definition of adversity.
I marvel at the scientific mind … but only briefly. If my life depended on math and/or any form of science, I would be annihilated. I watch these characters – who are representing actual human beings – who can work out these crazy solutions in real life situations, like being an astronaut and piloting a space craft, or even a pilot directing an airplane, and I can’t wrap my brain around it.
People who are in charge of giant projects with two thousand moving parts are just baffling to me. I am thoroughly impressed when someone can take on responsibility of that magnitude.
Me? My most stressful day is figuring out how to unscrew a wing nut from a bolt beneath a washer that is holding a bowl full of seeds directly under the feet of an angry macaw that will, without a doubt, do anything it can to get my skin inside it’s beak. … and then take the bowl full of seed back and do it in reverse, repeat x 20.
That’s a stressful day in my mind.
Even my husband, who has his own fair share of responsibility at work, juggles large amounts of data in his brain all while communicating between multiple departments and sometimes at multiple locations, geographically.
Me? Give me a bag of goldfish, a pencil, and a piece of paper and I can keep the most distracted, frustrated, ‘hangry’ child from losing their shit for at least 2 hours. Hardly the same thing. Some would say equally important in terms of life skills, but somehow I don’t think it’s quite the same.
All in all, if you’ve always wondered what a fascinating and well-written mathematical word problem would look like in movie form, go see The Martian. (spoiler: it doesn’t make the math any easier or fun)