17: The Math Department’s Chief Bastard

In recent years I’ve discovered a talent for Christmas tales. No, not happy cheerful Christmas tales. The other kind. My story The Last Multivariable Differential Christmas is part of WMG’s Holiday Spectacular. Here’s one minute from it.

Bill and Rosie and I were cramming for our multivariable differential equations exam. Of the fifteen students who couldn’t afford tutors, they were the ones who didn’t treat me like a dangerous freak. Doctor Valencia, the math department’s chief bastard, wrote the official textbook to be as impenetrable as the class.

I don’t mind tough programs. I’ve taken a whole bunch of tough classes, in most departments on this stupid campus. I could finish five degrees in one semester, except they’re all too dangerous.

But the math faculty thought tough meant teach badly. Rich students hired tutors and staggered through. Piece work for a dozen professors and tutoring in chemistry and English and business administration and comp sci got me a room and peanut butter, but I didn’t make near enough to pay extortion to math tutors.

Fieldstone gives you three tries at each class. Then they punt you from the department.

If you want the rest of this, back the Kickstarter now. If you’re not sure, check out the anthologies from past years. You’ll find my work in several of them. Usually ones with titles that don’t mention “sweet,” or “joy,” or “mistletoe.” You know.