Ode to My Math Textbook – by OLIVIA JIANG

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Ode to My Math Textbook


Hidden in between these

Rough, scratched



Within these

Inked, smudged



There lies a barbarous universe

Filled with never-ending galaxies of

Vicious numbers

Merciless variables

Heinous equations

They bring long nights of
Forehead smacking, and


Flipping through these pages,

Struggling to find the solutions,

Is like attempting to swim through



And forceful


Fighting to take just one breath.

Just one.

It’s like

Trying to dive to the bottom of a seemingly bottomless ocean —

How atrocious.

Absolutely sadistic.

190 days of the year

3 hours every day

60 minutes per hour

60 seconds in a minute

How many torturous seconds every year,

Is spent in these excruciating pages?
Go ahead,

Calculate it.

This math textbook’s


Monstrous, and

Agonizing questions

Have me bleeding



These villainous and wicked problems,

That are enveloped in these worn-out sheets,

Have me begging so, so, hard

For mercy.


Oh. Wait.


I forgot that at the back of this textbook,

            There is a answer key.



Olivia Jiang is a rising senior at Burnaby Mountain Secondary School. In 2017 she sent a thank-you letter to the author of a resonant novel, who responded: she had printed out the letter, told Olivia she had a gift for words, and mailed her a copy of the book from L.A. Olivia has loved writing ever since.

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