What Pi Day Actually Taught Me

There is not a word in the English language that accurately describes my hatred for math.

It’s not that I did poorly in the subject; on the contrary I did quite well. I just hated every second of it despite some truly great teachers in algebra, geometry, calculus and stats. The homework always took five years, there were too many equations to memorize and the fact that I couldn’t use a calculator for solving certain problems made it even more frustrating.

The one redeeming day in math: Pi Day.

In my high school, teachers gave you extra credit for doing any number of things to celebrate Pi Day. You could get extra credit for memorizing multiple digits of pi past 3.14, making a pie for the class, or doing something creative like making a video. I always opted for the latter, and often made satire movies with friends including the timeless classics 3.14 (a spoof on 300) and PiLight (a spoof on Twilight).

Although I was doing this for a math class, I was learning an important skill that shaped my future and helped me get to where I am today: video editing.

I wrote, produced, filmed, and edited these movies with the help of friends, and found a passion for creating videos.

Even though they were dumb, terrible spoof movies filmed with literally no budget, the skills I learned through editing and filming have transcended my high school years and played an important role in my college education and my job at CCPE. In fact, my video skills set me apart from other job applicants and make me more appealing to hiring managers. (I’m substantially better at filming and editing now, by the way.)

The moral of the story is, don’t wallow in self-pity when you’re doing something you don’t like. Instead, look for ways to learn a new skill or show off a strength you already have. Sometimes, the best opportunities are derived from the most irrational of days (pun intended).

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