Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Probably Why I Hate Math

Saturday at work, I was trying to figure up the trust allowance for a preneed contract and it just wasn't coming out right. I was frustrated and has been my habit, if something is particularly difficult and I can't figure it out I'll give up on it for a while.

I've done it when I've been embalming and things aren't going quite right, in high school with stupid physics problems I couldn't work out and in band when I couldn't get certain parts of the music. The reasons behind my temporary quitting are for another rambling post, but not today! Today, I'm writing about math.

I found something else to do while I procrastinated what I really should have been doing and I thought about all the trouble math has given me throughout my life thus far. Perhaps we should put on Jimmy Buffett's "Math Sucks" while we reflect?

In college, I took the lowest math that counts- College Algebra 1 or something like that, because my ACT scores didn't put me in a higher class. Math was always my lowest score on the ACT every time I took it. Physics and chemistry sucked in high school because you need Algebra to do those kinds of science. In sixth grade, I was bored and read books during math until it got me in trouble. Guess I thought since I wasn't going to get it anyway there was no point in paying attention. In fifth grade, my blue-haired teacher made us work out problems on the board in front of everyone. This was ok if you knew what you were doing and got it right, but if you got it wrong...... She made several of us cry with her yelling.

I kept thinking and went back in my brain as far as I could. I couldn't remember any math in kindergarten or first grade, my earliest mathematical memory was second grade- learning to line the numbers up neatly and add or subtract them.

I thought about third grade and the sheets of 100 math problems we worked out as fast as we could. All that was hunky-dory til we started multiplication. I don't remember the explanation of multiplying exactly. I can't remember the 1 times or even the 2 times. I believe we started with the sevens.

Sevens! You've got to be out of your mind! (Somebody was.)

I remember all the other kids yelling out random numbers that I couldn't figure out how they were coming up with- 7! 14! 21! 28! until they got up to around 100.

I just gave up right there. That's where it started. I didn't understand and they ran off and left me. I remember several big red F's on math tests after that.

Sidenote: once, this third grade teacher got mad about one of the boys reading a Garfield book when he shouldn't have been so she snatched it from him and frisbeed it across the room, right over the top of my head! I saw this lady two years ago in a restaurant and nearly broke my neck trying to avoid her. Carry on!

Fourth grade was no better. I made it through multiplication and then they wanted to start fractions! Somehow I passed all these and while I'll still break out in a sweat over numbers sometimes, I've learned that math can be useful and even fun. Like in the kitchen cooking or paying bills- two of my favorite domestic things to do (no joke!)

Sunday, I figured out my trust allowance perfectly.

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