Study Session: Advanced Mathematics

Campus Buddy Tutor Service—Bringing Students Together!

You have 1 new message!

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Subject: Scheduling

2 PM, first study room of main library

From: UP13

To: TR12

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Subject: Thank you!

Alright! Thanks a bunch! I'm Pirika. Who is this by the way? :)

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Subject: Seriously?

Does it matter? Just get here already so we can get this over with.

From: UP13

To: TR12

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Subject: Manners? What manners? need to be rude. Anyways I might be a little late.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Subject: If you're late, you're dead

I'm still charging you.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Subject: Did you die? ...Not that I mind if you did

Where are you and what is taking so long? You're forty minutes late.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Subject: Maybe you have short term memory loss

I've been waiting for more than an hour!

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Subject: What the hell is wrong with you?

Respond IMMEDIATELY when you get this message.

From: UP13

To: TR12

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Subject: Aw, how sweet

You were concerned for my general health and well being. At least I now know that my mysterious tutor is human ( some extent). Anyways, don't be concerned! There was just a really long line at Starbucks.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Subject: Concerned? Don't be stupid.

I was merely inquiring because you have kept me waiting for TWO HOURS, woman! And you don't respond to my emails! The only Starbucks on campus is the one right next to the library...the same one I've been waiting in since 2 this afternoon.

From: UP13

To: TR12

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Subject: Jeez

Well, I'm srory okay? I don't check my tutor email that much! I usually check my personal email and school email.

And ew, I didn't go to the one on campus. They make horrible lattes there. I went to the one that the guy from our school was arrested at for drug trafficking last year. I bought you a muffin as an apology.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Subject: You have got to be...

...That Starbucks is a twenty minute drive from campus. Are you clinically insane? And if you're truly "srory," then get here RIGHT NOW.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Subject: ...

…What kind of muffin?

From: UP13

To: TR12

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Subject: Your point?

Jeez, don't be so anal. And the only reason I typoed it because I'm emailing from my phone. Anyways, I'm in the greeting area of the library. I'll be there in a minute.

And it's blueberry.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Subject: Oh goodie

I can't wait to spend the next three hours of my life cramming a semester's worth of differential calculus into your brain.

And I hate blueberry.

From: TR12

To: UP13

Date: Thurs, Sept 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Subject: (no subject)

That was sarcasm by the way.



"-sweet Jesus on a pogo stick."

"You're the idiot's sister!"

Pirika threw her things down on the floor and shook her head. "Whyyyyy?" Now it all makes sense...TR12...Tao Ren...class of 2012. "And didn't you know who I was when I told you my name?"

He rolled his eyes. "Tch, I've never even talked to you and your brother and I obviously have better things to discuss than what his siblings are named."

"You don't know the name of your best friend's sister?" She snorted. "Pathetic."

"Not as pathetic as your calculus grade," he said, reading over a file.

She lunged for the small stack of papers he was going over. "Hey! What are you looking at?"

He simply slid the file out of her reach. "Your tentative grades for the semester, all your calculus tests as well as comments from your teacher." Ren held a piece of paper up. "Look how many frowny faces Mr. Goldva drew on his write up of you." He tapped a particularly depressed looking face that her teacher even took the time to draw tears streaming from its eyes. "Cute."

"You know what, the only reason I'm doing so badly is because I don't even pay attention in class," she scoffed. "If Goldva was more engaging and I actually tried, I could totally get a higher grade."

Fact number one: This is indeed highly false as Pirika actually did try in her calculus class. Tried very, very, very hard. The only reason why she was flagging behind so many of her peers is that she simply didn't get calculus...a fact that she was embarrassed of and didn't want to admit so she lies to herself (and others) that she could do much better in class if she wanted to.

"Really." He opened her textbook, rifled through a few pages and then pointed to a problem. "Solve this."

She peered down, prepared to get out her calculator and notebook. "Find the derivative of x to the—What the—Seriously? I'm not that stupid! I understand the power rule. Even a ten year old would get it without even knowing what calculus was!"

"Could've fooled me," Ren muttered under his breath.

Pirika shook her head in disbelief that the tutoring department actually hired this obviously insensitive, rude boy. "You know, you're not very nice."

He yawned. "Try telling me something I don't know." He flipped to the next chapter and pointed to a random problem. "Solve this."

She immediately powered on her calculator.

"No calculators," he said, grabbing it from her. "Don't you know that you're not allowed to use one on the final?"

"Wait, seriously?" she gaped. Crap, I'm screwed…

"Yes, and technically, you're not supposed to be using them on your homework either," he said dryly.

She rolled her eyes. "Then how do they expect us to solve these problems?" she demanded.

"The old fashioned way…" Ren tapped a pencil and paper that was on the table. "You know, calculators weren't even in use just a couple of decades ago. They did everything by hand."

She merely grumbled and set to work solving the problem. "Okay and then you add one and then you use u-substitution and then…alright." She showed him her answer.

He studied it for a few seconds before narrowing his eyes at her. "You used integration."

"Yeah? So?"

"…The problem says to differentiate it. They're complete opposites." He let out a long sigh. "Why are you even in this class?"

"And why are you a tutor?" she fired back. "Last time I checked, tutors were supposed to be encouraging and helpful!"

He snapped the textbook shut. "I need to tutor at least twenty hours this semester in order to maintain my membership in the honors society."

"Well that still doesn't account for—"

He held up a finger to silence her. "That, and I'm damn good at it."

Pirika scoffed. Why does Horo even hang out with this guy? How are they best friends? "You're good at tutoring? Yeah, that's like saying I'm a genius at calculus. You know what, calculus is stupid! The only reason I'm taking it is because nursing requires this stupid class. It doesn't even have any use outside of the classroom and it's so pointless and I hate it and I'm never going to get it and I'm stupid and—why are you looking at me like that?" she asked, her voice cracking a little.

Ren's eyes had been burning into her face for the better half of her angry rant. "I think I got it."

"Got it? G-Got…what?" she asked somewhat anxiously as he continued staring at her.

"Yes. Alright. Look here." He picked up a pencil and began drawing. "See this stick figure? This is you—"

"I am not that fat!"

He chose to ignore her as he drew an angry face. "You have a closed mind right now." He proceeded to reproduce several more pictures: that of a textbook, a stick figure labeled Goldva, a calculator, and a person labeled Ren. "With that closed mind, you are focused on one sole thing when it comes to calculus: your sheer hatred of it. And since that's the only thing you think of when calculus is brought up, it becomes a habit. You begin to associate hatred with calculus and calculus with hatred and how you're never going to get it."

She frowned but kept listening.

"In your state right now, no amount of studying," he crossed out the textbook, "tutoring," he crossed the picture of himself out, "or teaching," he crossed Goldva out, "is going to help you."

She whimpered inwardly. "Then…then what's going to happen?"

"Then may God have mercy on your soul."

"No! I need to pass this course! Please, there has got to be a way," she exclaimed. "I'll do anything! I can't fail this class or else my record will get all messed up and I won't get into any good nursing schools and—"

He gave a small nod. "Good. That is what we need."

Pirika tilted her head to the side. "…Eh?"

"See, you're beginning to have an open mind which is the very first thing that you need when you're in a class," he explained. "It's also why I'm a damn good tutor."

She snorted. "Jeez, you're so humble."

Ren smirked at her and motioned at her book for her to open it to the first introductory page. "The next step is also easy but fundamental." He poked at the text on the page. "What. Is. Calculus."

Pirika began to feel uneasy. Isn't tutoring in any kind of math about doing practice problems and ingraining formulas and theorems so that they're burned into my brain for the rest of my life? "Um…it's…math…?" she offered lamely. After seeing him shake his head, she tried again. "It's…really hard math…that you have to memorize a lot for…?"

He sighed. "I was right. Great, now we're going to be here all night…" He stretched out before getting down to business. "You know, if I were to write what I'm about to say down onto a piece of paper, I believe I would produce what is commonly known as a 'wall o' text'…so prepare yourself."

She spread her arms out to indicate she was listening. "I'm ready."

"Asymptotes," he said simply. "Asymptotes. The way you're approaching the whole class is wrong. With your mentality, you think that calculus is this inaccessible concept, something that you just try to solve out using your calculator, pen, paper without actually thinking. Your main goal right now is just to find the answer…however, you do not understand how you got it or even what the answer means. That completely defeats the point of the entire class. Perhaps you can slide by algebra or simple arithmetic with this approach but you cannot do so with calculus. The way you're doing it now, you'll be able to vaguely grasp the correct answer sometimes, you'll always be ever approaching full comprehension but no matter how much hard work you put in, you'll never actually reach it. Just like an asymptote."

Pirika blinked, the enlightenment slowly beginning to dawn on her. "So…you're saying that…I need to actually understand everything? That my answer, even though it's correct technically, is meaningless unless I don't actually know what it stands for?"

He smirked, putting his arms behind his head and tilting back in his chair. "Exactly. See, I am just that good."

"Oh, stuff it," she snapped, shoving his chair so that he fell backwards in it. "Anyways, what is calculus?"

"Calculus isn't just simply hard math that only super smart kids can comprehend. It's the study of change, something that is applicable to everything in our everyday lives. As opposed to something like algebra that studies constant, static relationships, calculus encompasses something bigger: the rate and dynamic of our changing world. There are two levels to every problem: the straightforward, oftentimes numerical answer and the deeper answer that includes what it actually means in application to the problem itself. For example, if I gave you a set of coordinates and a such-and-such function and asked you to find the derivative of the function at the point and you come up with 32, you stop there. But if you go beyond that, 32 is the rate of change of that function at the specific set of coordinates. It is the slope. Put that in application of a real life problem. You have the function that plots out how many items are produced in relation to time for a certain company. You are asked to find the derivative of this function on a certain day. You get 32 again. You don't know what it means. Except you do if you just take a moment. 32 is the rate at which the company is producing these products on that given day and you can use this number to see if this is a high productivity rate, low rate or medium."

Pirika blinked. "Oh my God…I think…I'm beginning to get it. Calculus makes sense! It's actually useful!" She punched him in the arm. "Why am I only getting this now?" she exclaimed as if it were his fault. "This would've helped so much on so many of my tests! Ugh!" She slapped the top of the desk.

Suddenly the lights turned off.

"Great, first you physically assault me and now you've turned off the lights," Ren drawled. A grating sound of metal upon metal started echoing around them and a pair of retreating footsteps thumped out of hearing range.

She bit her lip. "Um, Ren…I didn't turn off the lights…and…w-what's that noise?" It's a serial killer! I'm way too young to die!

"Ha, ha, very funny. Turn them back on, we still have a lot more to do—" He cut himself off but his expression was impossible to read in the dark. "You're not kidding, are you?" he asked in a low voice.

She shook her head until she remembered that he probably couldn't see her. "No! Ugh! What time is it?" She fumbled around, scattering things around on the table until she felt the thin, plastic figure of her cell phone. "Oh crap." She held up the LCD screen of her phone. 7:19 P.M. blinked sleepily in blue lights.

"You're…kidding. The library closed already?" Ren demanded.

Her eyes widened. "The grating sound from earlier was probably the custodian locking up the backrooms!" She remained perfectly still for a second…before rushing and banging on the doors and windows of the room they were in. "HELP! SOMEONE HELP!" She turned around and glared at him. "Why aren't you helping?"

Ren sighed. "It's no use…he's probably gone."

It was amazing that a girl as bouncy and bubbly as Pirika could remain so perfectly still for three minutes straight. And then all hell broke lose. "You're telling me that I'm stuck in the freaking library for the entire night until it reopens at ten in the morning with you?" she screeched at the top of her lungs.

"It's not like this is my first choice either!" he snapped back. "I mean, what are people going to think when they open the backrooms and see us, in the same clothes that we were wearing yesterday, all disheveled looking and sleeping the same room?"

She rolled her eyes. "No one's going to see us because no one goes to the library that early!"

"You sound pretty confident," he spat. "But the person who has the keys and is in charge of opening the library will see us. And who is it that is in charge of this library?"

Cold, cruel realization dawned on her. "R…Ryu…"

"Yes, and he runs that moronic, inane gossip blog that hundreds of students are drawn to like stupid, idiotic flies to honey for some inadequately explained reason."

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. She banged her forehead against the table before sighing and giving up. "Well, I suppose I can use this time to do some practice problems."

"I'm still charging you for all these extra hours, by the way." As if on cue, his stomach growled.

"Hungry?" she asked, before brightening. "Good thing I brought food!" She flashed him a huge smile before reaching into her bag.

At this, Ren actually looked like he perked up a bit. "You did? What did you bring?"

"I hope you like blueberry muffins!"

The dulcet tones of Taylor Swift jolted Pirika out of her sleep. "What the—Who's there?" she exclaimed sleepily before realizing that her phone had received a text message. She climbed on top of the table, her legs swinging idly in the air as she read it.


Where the hell were you last night? You hooked up with your tutor, didn't you? But I guess that's a good thing because you seriously needed to get laid. Freakin' stress bubble.

- Macchi

"What is that unholy noise?" Ren snarled as he blinked several times, getting his eyes adjusted to the light.

"Um, sorry, my roommate just texted me."

He groaned. "What did she want?"

Pirika froze. Surely she couldn't tell him what the text said. "It…" Her legs began swinging faster. "She…um…" They were going at a rapid pace in vain attempt at jogging her still sleep deprived mind. "Nothing, she was just—"

"Let me see."

Pirika shook her head violently. "No!" she exclaimed, cradling the phone as if it were a baby.

He tried grabbing it from her. "Give it!"

"Gah! Get away from me!" She tried shoving him away but that just triggered several minutes of uncomfortable sometimes painful wrestling with Ren over who would get possession of the phone. I can't...let him...see that! she thought resolutely, clenching her teeth together, as she pushed particularly hard against him, causing him to stagger back a few steps. Fortunately for him, he regained his balance...

Unfortunately for both of them, she didn't.

Pirika fell forward, grabbing onto anything that would stop her fall (or at the very least, soften the blow). That anything happened to be Ren. Ren's shirt to be exact. So they both toppled over and once they regained their senses, they became very grateful for the fact that the door was—

Suddenly, the door banged open to reveal one very red, very embarrassed looking Ryu. "I…um…wow…this is embarrassing..." His initial look of shock suddenly turned malicious as a devious smile spread across his face. "For you, that is." And then he ran off without a second glance.

Nothing like a fine morning during finals week when half the school is getting ready to take their exams from hell…leaving me a virtually empty library for half a day! Not to mention Kyoyama isn't volunteering today because she's already on vacation with that Asakura fellow! Today is a good day indeed, Ryu thought cheerfully to himself, whistling a tune as he opened the front door to the library. "Gotta power on the computers, log in, turn on the lights." He waltzed around the library, enjoying the familiarity of his nearly daily routine.

Well, almost all of it was familiar. Ryu paused, mid-stride between double checking the catalogues and typing up a list of people who were overdue on their return dates because…he could've…sworn…

There was no mistaking it as Ryu walked closer to the study rooms. Someone else is in here! Robbers? Psh, who would want to steal anything from a library? Homeless people taking shelter? In any case, he was going to be very careful. He tiptoed closer, closer, closer…

Two voices were muted in the background.

Ryu drew his eyebrows together in confusion as he pressed his ear against the door, his hand resting on the knob.

Ryu's eyebrows shot up. Yes, in all of his years of being the head librarian, he had interrupted and witnessed more than his fair share of intimate encounters between two other people. But this…this was something else.

At that point, Ryu in an effort to strain his hearing so he can hear what was going on, leaned a bit too hard against the door knob and then it swung open.

And Tao Ren was on top of Usui Pirika.

"I…um…wow…this is embarrassing...For you, that is."

The Spying Serpent

location: the first study room

listening to: I would put it up but it would probably be censored…so I'll just leave this up to your dirty imaginations!

mood: scandalized…and conniving

Hello, once again, my dear readers! SS is up and running again with gossip that's surely to keep the rumor mills working for at least the next two years! And as you all know, I am blogging to bring you gossip—fresh gossip—straight from the most popular rendezvous point for lovers!

The library!

It seems that the study rooms are a popular place for lovers (remember how I oh-so-very accurately predicted Asakura and Kyoyama's love after their encounter in the back study room?). This time though, it isn't as pure and innocent as their young love.

Instead, Tao Ren, president of the honors society and head of the tutoring program, and Usui Pirika…um, I don't have any data on her so she probably isn't that important at this school…were caught in the first study room hooking up this morning!

But then again, finals week is a stressful week and what better stress reliever than some hot and heavy action, eh?

You hear that? That's the sound of millions of girls sprinting their way across campus to sign up for a…"tutoring session" with the Tao boy. Sorry, ladies, but I wouldn't be surprised if he dropped out of the program after this!

But Usui and Tao really should've considered using the back room since it's soundproof! Heheh!

Until next time, dear readers!


Update: It turns out that Pirika is actually the sister of Ren's long time best friend Horohoro! Scandal!


Posted by Usui Horo

Subject: LOL way to go, Ren!



Posted by Usui Horo

Subject: WTF

WAIT, THAT'S MY SISTER, YOU ASSHOLE! I am going to CUT YOU, REN!11 And SS, if I ever find out who you are...NO ONE RIGHTS ABOUT MY SISTER LIEK THAT!


Posted by Kyoyama Anna

Subject: Hmph

I see you have victimized yet another most likely innocent couple by taking their actions out of context, SS.

And Horohoro, your grammar and typos are making my eyes bleed. Stop it.


Posted by SS

Subject: Always lovely to hear from you, Miss Kyoyama! Or should I be saying Mrs. Asakura?

Oh so very untrue, my dear Anna. I report everything with one hundred percent accuracy. And I thought you hated this blog? It seems you check it rather frequently.


Posted by Kyoyama Anna

Subject: If you call me Mrs. Asakura, I will tell Horohoro who you are and he will most likely stab you to death with your own hair

I do nothing of the sort.


Posted by Usui Pirika


What do you mean I'm probably not that important at this school?


Posted by Usui Horo

Subject: You're not getting away with this either!

Seriously, Pirika? Seriously? Ren? Tao Ren? Tao Ren who has been my best friend since we were thirteen?11

Don't you have any standards?


Posted by Tao Ren

Subject: Idiocy at its finest

The only reason I'm resigning from the tutoring program is because of this stupid blog. Hmph, and what do you mean by standards? Dumbass.


Posted by Usui Horo




Posted by Kyoyama Anna

Subject: "Idiocy at its finest"...are you referring to this blog or to Horohoro?

Stop abusing caps lock. It is not a toy.


Posted by Tao Ren

Subject: "Idiocy at its finest"...I'm referring to both.

I second Kyoyama


Posted by Usui Horo




Posted by Kyoyama Anna

Subject: Shut up, already

Someone do the world a favor and disconnect him from the internet


Posted by Matisse Macchi


HAH, I knew it! I was right!


Posted by Usui Pirika

Subject: Shut up!

Nothing happened! You were not right! Why is nobody listening to me?


Posted by Tao Ren

Subject: Hmm...

Is this concerning the text message that you wouldn't let me see, Pirika?


Posted by Usui Pirika

Subject: Stop while you're ahead

Or I will let Horo know where you are right now


Posted by Tamamura Tamao

Subject: Oh my...

SS, I think that Ren and Pirika are saying that this isn't true...right, Pirika?


Posted by Bismarch Kanna

Subject: You were right, Macchi



Posted by McDonnell Chocolove

Subject: Funniest thing I've read in a while

LMAO nice!


Posted by Usui Pirika

Subject: Final results came out

Doesn't anyone care that I actually passed my calculus final?


Posted by Bismarch Kanna

Subject: Hah



Posted by Matisse Macchi

Subject: Seriously?



Posted by Usui Horo

Subject: I'm going to lecture you later!



Posted by Usui Pirika

Subject: No, you're not!

Wow, thanks for all the support, guys


Posted by Tao Ren

Subject: Hm

I will email you how much you owe me for tutoring

A/N: this is part of the "Study Session" series and it sort of a "sequel"/companion piece to my other story Politics 101. also appropro because i have finals in the next three days or so

based on my own experiences with calculus. minus the whole "getting locked in a room with your tutor and then having a gossip blog write about you" part. so, moral of the story, keep an open mind for all your classes in the beginning of the school year or an anonymous gossip website will write an article that proclaims you had sex.

had this sitting around in drafts for the longest time and finally got around to (re)publishing it! i also just posted up another story the other day called "Seven Minutes in Heaven" which is Yoh/Anna if that tickles your fancy

Please leave a review!