Hi there everyone, it's a pleasure to finally be part of such a wonderful online community of mathematicians such as myself.

I'd love to sit back and chill for a while with all of you and join in the ferrocious conversation involving linear non-numerical iterative calculus over on the other board, but I really must cut to the chase and ask something I've been wanting to know for quite some time now...

I was introduced to this concept first when I was rather small; I would guess I was roughly perhaps 34.25% of my total height today (rounding errors may apply, I was in such a hurry that I completely forgot to account for wind speed). The thing is that it is something I have conveniently managed to avoid until regrettably, I see it is part of the curriculum this year for my honour's year.

Subtraction. I have read books, nay, textbooks, on the subject, and I am forever at a loss. I keep thinking back to the day when my primary school teacher talked to me about beans. It was horrible. She got me up in front of the entire class and showed me roughly x=5 beans. She then - as I write this, a cringe in terror - took one of them away. She then asked how many there were.


Needless to say, this have proved quite the conundrum since. All the books, textbooks and tomes I have read have always led back to beans. Or beads. And that is a subject which I cannot comprehend.

So now I look to the world of technology - the internet - to solve perhaps the greatest personal riddle of my life. Could someone please just explain what 'Subtraction' is?

My most humble and heartfelt gratitude,
A confused professor-to-be.