Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Geeks Are The New Rock Stars

Mathematics sucks big time. It is an absolute sham. I would rather perform an open heart surgery using Jollibee knives while I head bang to the music Sex Pistols than sit through a 10-minute class about the basic principle of Calculus. I would rather insert my arms in the esophagus of a starving crocodile while I dance the Macarena than solve any sort of Calculus problems. Algebra is no different, any mathematical problem that has a number above 5 is piece of sh!t. Well, you probably have speculated by now that my stratospheric hatred for Math is rooted in the fact that I suck at it. So hard in fact, a 3 year old can win a math contest over me. Ask me to write a script worthy of the Best Screenplay Award in Oscars and I will do it in a heartbeat but Calculus? Not I don’t want to, I simply don’t have the necessary brain cells for it.
John Russell Virata - middle

John Russel Virata is my counterpart. Math is his b!tch. He is so good at it that he is representing our country to this year’s International Math Olympiad (IMO). It is the most hardcore math competition in the whole fuc#!n world. There are more than 35 countries represented including the G effin’ 7 – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Russia. If you are thinking though that it is no big deal, you may just be as stup!d as I am because the training involved in qualifying in the IMO is equivalent to single-handedly charging a Palestinian troop with only a gadam toothpick as a weapon.
Virata went on a head to head clash against 3,500 math geniuses to solve problems from basic algebra to calculus in Philippine Math Olympics (PMO), the oldest mathematical contest in the country.
Virata does feel a bit of pressure. Last year, the Philippines won a bronze medal at the 50th IMO held in Bremen , Germany through Carmela Lao of St. Jude Catholic School. Looks like he has a lot of practice though. He already won various international mathematics competitions including last year’s Invitational World Youth Mathematics Intercities Competition held in Durban, South Africa where he won a bronze medal and the Philippine International Mathematics Competition in Iloilo City where he took home a gold medal.
Imagine traveling the world more than once a year for free to do something you love doing like solving Math problems, pretty sweet. Imagine winning these competitions that makes all the money spent on you for your travels worthwhile, totally awesome. Imagine living a life of absolute coolness because you are, day by day, becoming the embodiment of the new generation of youth – totally bad@$$ and totally cool at something that brings pride to your country, family and self – that is simply doped.
Anyone who claims that the Philippines can never claim genius in the field of Math, you either beat Virata on a one-on-one Math showdown or shut the fu$# up. We cannot deny that our educational standards are on an all-time low but people like Virata doesn’t bother b!tching about it because it will not help the situation. People like Virata – cool and f@#$in badass – simply live out their passion because THAT is what will actually help the situation.

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