I love BC calculus. Here’s why.

Mrs. Pajak’s BC Calculus class gives calculus a thumbs up!

Ava Russo '23

Mrs. Pajak’s BC Calculus class gives calculus a thumbs up!

Is there a class you always look forward to? A class where you can’t help but smile? I have one — BC Calculus. To some, an extended math period may present new nightmare material, but I relish my ninety minutes of math every Tuesday. And when I get home? Time to don my headphones and solve more problems. It’s my favorite homework to do. 

Why do I love BC calculus so much? I’m not sure. It doesn’t always love me back — I once forgot how to take integrals and derivatives in the middle of a quiz and ended up turning in a muddle of fractions and exponents. Trigonometry still baffles me. And AP Classroom problem sets make me wonder if I even understand basic math. 

But there’s something calming about working through the problems. As I corrected my mess of a quiz, I didn’t feel sad or angry about my mistakes. Instead, I savored neatly enumerating my now-corrected steps to the sweet sound of the 1975’s new album. The music, the neat numbers, the boxed answers on graph paper — it all served to put me in a nearly meditative state. 

Elyza Tuan ’23 points to our unit circle clock. (Ava Russo ’23)

But although I love the work itself, the class wouldn’t be the same without its head, Mrs. Pajak. Eternally willing to help and with a contagious love for calculus, she guides us through a seemingly endless sea of theorems and strategies. Working out whiteboard problems with her on a free afternoon, I found myself wishing that I could make a habit of extracurricular calculus. If only I didn’t have practice after school… 

So thank you, Mrs. Pajak. And thank you, calculus. In days packed full of essays, notes, and lectures, you provide a welcome respite. 

By Hana Shinzawa ‘24, Co-Assistant Editor-in-Chief and Science Editor