Jim the Circle - Part 1

Jim the Circle - Part 1

SHISHIR JESSU

Oh, hi there! Forgive me for my over­-excitement – nobody ever pays attention to little girth­-less me. I’m Jim the Circle. I’m glad you’re interested in hearing my story, even though I’m a fairly two-dimensional character. I live alone, snugly fit inside the “o” on a Bank of America sign, and I have one goal in life: become a sphere.

 

You see, the circle life is tough; ever since Leonardo da Vinci squared one of my brothers back in 1490, we’ve been ignored by society, with humans preferring spheres like the Sun because it “gives rise to all Earthly life,” or dogs preferring spheres like the tennis ball in the bank parking lot because they’re “chewable” (damn you, Fido). Meanwhile, most circles just hang out in schoolchildren’s compasses, waiting to be poorly drawn by some third grader’s chewed-on pencil. In fact, I remember the day I was scribbled onto a piece of crumpled-up wide-ruled paper and tossed into the street. It’s been a long journey from the paper world to the corporate world, and by now most of my kind would have given up on their goals. But I refuse to remain a despairing, flat figure without a z­-axis. And after months of spinning my body and getting nowhere, I’ve finally developed a plan that WILL launch me into the third dimension.

 

It’ll just take two simple steps. Currently, my area is equal to πr^2, but the volume of a sphere is 4/3*πr^3, so I need to grab 1/3π and one more r. Easy enough – I’m just a few minutes away from the local high school, so if I can find a math classroom I’ll be well on my way. All that remains is to gently ease out of this BoA sign. So I start doing my signature shimmy to get myself out of tight spaces – and a one, and a two, and a one two AHHHHHHH!

The “o” just fell off the sign. The entire “o”. And I along with it. Now the sign reads “Bank f America.” Poignant. I’m lying flat (literally) on my face. Fido runs over me in the parking lot, with the tennis ball in his mouth. I’m not jealous.

 

It seems like all hope is lost, but I can’t give up now. So, with all the power my two-dimensional frame can muster, I jerk myself into an upright position and start confidently rolling toward Davidson High School, braving the rough concrete that scrapes my perimeter. Twenty minutes later, I easily roll into the school’s front door – luckily, security measures only work on three-dimensional beings. A large sign on the first door on the right reads “MRS. JENSEN’S GEOMETRY ROOM.” Bingo.

 

I spin into the room, and am instantly greeted by pictures of shapes and formulas plastered all over the walls. My kind of people. And on a swatch of chalkboard at the room’s far right, I discover my ace in the hole: a unit circle hastily scrawled on a Cartesian coordinate grid. My heart flutters with excitement as I tumble up the wall, expecting to easily swoop into the unit circle and grab 1/3π, ­­but the second my outer edge touches the grid’s y-­axis, a pulsing yellow beam shoots from its tip and engulfs me, causing me to faint immediately.

To be continued…

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