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Thread: Despairing of

  1. #1
    Cynthia Garett is offline Junior Member
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    Default Despairing of

    Hello,
    What does "despair of" mean in this paragraph? Does the main character not like solving those problems, do they overwhelm him?

    He received an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and computer science at Cal Poly and his master’s in pure mathematics at UC Davis. Pure math was, to him, the Special Forces of the mind—he took it because it was so hard, and he wanted to find out just how smart he was. He was pretty smart, as it turned out, but he despaired of working on problems that existed on the level of pure abstraction and had no bearing on the problems of the world.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Despairing of

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia Garett View Post
    Hello,
    What does "despair of" mean in this paragraph? Does the main character not like solving those problems, do they overwhelm him?

    He received an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and computer science at Cal Poly and his master’s in pure mathematics at UC Davis. Pure math was, to him, the Special Forces of the mind—he took it because it was so hard, and he wanted to find out just how smart he was. He was pretty smart, as it turned out, but he despaired of working on problems that existed on the level of pure abstraction and had no bearing on the problems of the world.

    Thank you.
    It's more like he didn't see any reason to do this kind of work.

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