Ginger: I hate math.

Ruby: What?

Ginger: I said I hate math.

Ruby: How could you possibly hate the oldest language still in use today?

Ginger: Because, like many other ancient languages, hardly anyone uses it outside of necessity. Like taxes. Or university mottos.

Ruby: Ginger, what do you do all day?

Ginger: Well, I certainly don’t translate ancient Sumerian.

Ruby: I wasn’t talking about your free time.

Ginger: So, wait, if you* were*…

Ruby: What brought on this uncalled for hatred of one of my favorite languages of all time?

Ginger: I don’t often see it, but your geek is showing a lot today.

Ruby: Ginger – Focus. Why do you hate math…this time?

Ginger: *The square and the rectangle have the same area. The square’s diagonal is 8*√2*” long. The rectangle’s width is 4″. How many inches long is the rectangle?*

Ruby: Where did you get this?

Ginger: My calendar.

Ruby: Your calendar gives you math problems?

Ginger: Every day, a new math problem. Doesn’t yours do that?

Ruby: I thought you had a company calendar.

Ginger: They stopped handing them out. I had to buy a calendar of my own.

Ruby: So…you bought a math calendar on purpose?

Ginger: Yeah.

Ruby: *You* bought a math calendar on purpose?

Ginger: Yes.

Ruby: *You* bought a math calendar* on purpose*?

Ginger: Is your record broken?

Ruby: I’m just hoping it will make sense if I say it enough times.

Ginger: Is it working?

Ruby: No…

Ginger: Okay, so we’re gonna focus on me and my problem here, then, okay?

Ruby: Okay.

Ginger: This math problem is causing me headaches.

Ruby: Well, if you break it down, it makes total sense. Using Pythagoras and his theorem, and therefore formula* c=*√*(a ^{2} + b^{2})*, we learn that the sum of the sides of the square is

*8*, which, is, of course, 128. Then, because we know that a square has four sides, all of equal length, we can–

^{2}x 2Ginger: That’s not my issue with this problem. I already know the answer is 16.

Ruby: And then, when you divide that by…wait, what?

Ginger: I already know the answer is 16.

Ruby: Did you remember to show your work?

Ginger: Look, the answer is the date. It always is. It’s a calendar, not the entrance exam for MIT.

Ruby: …today is not the 16^{th}!

Ginger: I skipped ahead.

Ruby: Okay…fine…so, why are you having a problem with this?

Ginger: I’ve worked with a lot of tape measures, rulers, yardsticks, seamstress measurement tapes… I’ve never seen a square root indicator on any of them.

Ruby: …what?

Ginger: No one ever answers the question “How tall are you?” with “Five foot, square-root-of-two inches.” You know?

Ruby: No…

Ginger: √2 is an irrational number. √4 is 2, so if a person says “I measured that lamp’s height, it’s √4 inches tall,” then you know that a) the lamp is 2″ tall; b) the person is an out-of-work mathematician and c) the lamp belongs in a Barbie Dreamhouse.

Ruby: Okay…

Ginger: But √2 isn’t so easily…um…square-rooted. The square root of 2 is 1.41421356. So if you were measuring something and it was 1.41421356 inches, you’d probably write down that it was 1.4 inches long…not √2 inches long.

Ruby: You figured out the square root of two in your head?

Ginger: We’re focusing, remember?

Ruby: Right. Continue.

Ginger: My problem is that they specified that it was 8√2″ long. Which is 8 x 1.41421356, right? Which is 11.31370848. So…the only conclusion I can come up with is that the carpenter who measured this square is really an out-of-work mathematician in disguise who just enjoys screwing with his team. The math problem – the way it’s written – is not applicable to the real world.

Ruby: So, basically, your problem is that you took the calendar too seriously and read way too far into it.

Ginger: Are you going to tell me that it’s math and I should just let it go?

Ruby: No. I am going to tell you something else.

Ginger: What?

Ruby: Math is life. Just reduced to a very simple form.

Ginger: I guess I should give up trying to find the easy path to becoming River.

Ruby: …*that’s* why you bought a math calendar on purpose!

Ginger: And I was just starting to enjoy all that ballet can teach me…

Ruby: Y’know, we should really write these conversations down and label them ‘fiction’. No one would ever believe them as factual.

Ginger: What exactly are you saying?