In the next morning, at the time congruent to 7 modulo 12, as the students filed into an empty classroom, there was a palpable silence. All that could be heard was Eve’s pen scribbling as she sat behind a pile of books, invisible to all but one. ..Adam had an exhausted look of content but the eyes of the other students darted back and forth in fear and frustration. Cold sweat dripped to the floors and rashes began forming in geometric progression. One student heaved in pain as nothing came out, and another student pulled out tufts of her hair and began feeding it to the student to her right. Sounds could be heard faintly down the hall. Footsteps fell in an impending arithmetic pattern. As the sound of the footsteps converged, their eyes noticed every detail in the doorknob as they watched. …and as it turned, Brutus let out a whimper as a student let fly a nervous fart. There was a full on pandemic. A silent tempest in the souls of the students caused by… MATH ANXIETY!! And so…
On the second day, Professor G.H. Hardy said LET THERE BE LIGHT LAYERS OF TOPICAL CREAM APPLIED TO THOSE RASHES, GOOD GOD! ! And so there was. But pustules still erupted and Brutus still sobbed in the corner. For all of the festivities, fights, and furlough, not a one had completed their homework. Not a one.. except for Adam and Eve.

In today’s class, Professor Hardy lectured on elliptical curves. Fights broke out to the point of pandemonium, and alas, Brutus was reported missing. But Despite the destructive math anxiety, Hardy was content. No… utterly satisfied. Because amid the chaos, symbols shifted in the pupils of Eve’s eyes as she scribbled spells, and Adam had not yet breached structural integrity. The magnitude of the mathematics being conjured caused static charges to bounce in a random fashion half way to Hardy, Adam, or Eve. This chaos continued until the static burned in the aether forming Sierpinski’s gasket. Professor Hardy was in his element. A sweaty sheen was forming on Eve’s upper lip.. Goose pimples formed. Adam watched as her eyes glowed. The pen scratched on it’s own accord. Adam will shook, but he persisted. Glowing lines of ad Triangulum raised off of Sierpinski’s gasket and he began laughing. The geometry of ad Triangulum became so complex, Adam felt a seed of doubt. But the topology began to fold in on itself, thus destroying the Lipscomb space. Professor Hardy’s words, once again, took the form of sound. Eve smiled. Adam had a tremor. The other students drooled. As the bell rang and the students filed out, Adam was walking towards the door, trying his best to keep his hard earned sanity intact. TODAY YOU DO NOT SEEM QUITE SO TROUBLED. HOW DID YOU LIKE ELLIPTIC CURVE CRYPTO SYSTEMS? Adam says “The mathematics is beautiful, but I have yet to be learned in elliptic curves.” AND SO IT SHALL BE! EVE!! COME FORTH! AGAIN YOU WILL PAIR WITH ADAM. GO YE TO THE GARDEN AND INTO THE FINITE FIELDS. TEACH HIM MANY THINGS. FOR YOU SHALL GO FORTH AND SHOW HIM MANY CURVES. So it was written, so it shall pass. Behind a pile of books, Eve sauntered out with the traces of a faint smile at a corner of her mouth. As Eve led Adam to the Eden University garden, and into the Finite Fields, Adam decided that being a graduate student wasn’t at all, half bad.

The students slinked to their homes, their rooms at the Hilbert Hotel, and their reverie was put on hold. …For their homework had not yet been turned in. Tomorrow was only… the third day of school.

To be continued…

Christopher Havens

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