The Twilight Saga Ellipse: A Guide to Conics

Lol! I thought I was really clever in coming up with that title. I’m so lame and wish I could be ashamed, but I’m not.

When I wrote my school organization post, I said that I might create a post to help people with the conics section on Stuff You Must Know Cold, or SYMKC. I’m not sure if this is something everyone has or if it’s just at my school. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, SYMKC is just a list of things from Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precal that you’re expected to know of the top of your head. It consists of powers, formulas, and equations. Because there is so much stuff to remember, I often have to create acronyms or stories to help me out.

When I was in Algebra 2, and we started conics, I created a little story to help me remember the formulas for ellipsis. I’ve told some of my friends and they don’t think it’s helpful at all. They either think it’s stupid or that it’s confusing, but I like it. So, if you need help with remembering your conics and you’re a twilight fan, hopefully this helps.

So these are the formulas for both ellipsis:

ellipsis

To help me remember the difference between the two, I always start with V and in my head, it stands for Vampire. Then I think, as a vampire, Edward, puts Bella before everything else, so that makes b^2 the first value. Obviously, that means that a^2 is the second value that goes under (y-k)^2.

Then for horizontal, I just think that H stands for Human, and that Edward didn’t know Bella yet, and that she was in the second part of this life, making b^2 the second value.

Once you have that story memorized, you can also memorize the equations for hyperbolas.

hyperbolas
So, the way I remember these formulas, I just remember that the horizontal ellipse equation and the horizontal hyperbola equation are the same except that for the hyperbola, there is a sign. Then, since for ellipsis, the bottoms/denominators can switch depending on the which type of ellipse it is, I just remember that for hyperbolas, the tops/numerators can switch. Since you know this, you could remember that the vertical equation is exactly as the horizontal one except that (y-k)^2 is the numerator for a^2 and that (x-h)^2 is the numerator for b^2.

I hope that is actually helpful to you guys that are still in school and that you don’t find it too silly. I know that this has nothing to do with beauty/fashion, but I thought it would be helpful for those that math just doesn’t come naturally to. I know that I wish there were websites or posts, that kinda take all the logic out of the math and just make it easy to memorize. I know that math should be thought about logically and that it’s better to understand something than to just memorize it, but sometimes it’s just easier this way.

Did you find this helpful? Do you have any tricks that make it easier for you to memorize things in school? If you do, leave them in the comments, I would love to read them!

~Melissa

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