The frustrating part of the math course I took was that no matter how hard I tried (maybe because I tried too hard?) I couldn’t retain the information long enough to take the tests. I’d do the homework and would think “Oh right! I get this!” and then the test would come along and it felt like I was reading something in a whole ‘nother language. And not a language with the same alphabet, but like Greek or Thai or something. Then I’d panic. And the panic led to high blood pressure and wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments and Biblical things like heaping ashes on my head. Then I’d have to walk away from it for a while and do something about which I KNEW I was competent. Make biscuits or something. Roast a chicken so I could have comfort food because Lord knows I needed comforting.
I spent a little time Googling “Successful people who suck at math” (well ok it was worded a little differently but that’s the gist) Thing is, I don’t have any desire to become a famous inventor or the next Bill Gates, or a CEO of a corporation. I just want to find some fairly rewarding work for the next 10 years (or so). Sigh. What I would REALLY like is a clear explanation (that makes practical sense) as to why I need to understand ln17²±fºg, when f(x)4x+127 and g(x)7x³. I know, I know, it’s meant to help me learn to solve problems but I figure if I can solve the problem of 3 toddlers dancing on the roof without panic, or figure out how much pork to fix to feed BBQ to a crowd of 20 (8 of whom are teenaged boys) and have leftovers for church potluck the next day, then I know what I need to know about algebra. And yet, as I have repeatedly told my sons (and I’m eating these words now) “There are hoops through which one must jump, and this is a hoop.”
But I also don’t think I should have to medicate myself in order to do math. I can do all the other work- the Marketing (which, by the way, I totally rock at that), the Literature (the instructor likes my writing), the Art (yes indeed). All the business courses- human resources, ethics, law- all of those I understand and retain so easily. But the numbers…oh man. Tests are all :
That’s right. My tests look like that ^. Almost. I can parse out things along the lines of “oh ok, that’s a 2, and if you add another 2, it makes 4.” Sometimes I can even go so far as to say “Ok, to find the square root of a number, you mash the purple button on the calculator that makes the square root thing function, then you mash some more buttons to get the number in there and hit enter, and the calculator will tell you what the square root of something is.”
And truthfully, the final exam? I panicked. I panicked so hard I forgot to take 1/2 of the online part. Like just straight up forgot. My kids will tell you I panicked. One of them offered to take it for me, I was panicking so bad. I refused his kind offer, because the timing would be such that I would be taking 2 tests at a time from different computers and I thought that would be kind of obvious. Otherwise I’d totally probably thought about maybe taking him up on the offer. Even as dishonest as that would have been. I wrote the instructor an email, throwing myself at his mercy and admitting I’d panicked. I said I’d take the horrible grade like a Big Girl and perhaps the second time around wouldn’t be as bad. But, having to take it a second time moves graduation from December to May of next year, and I don’t want to do that. So, I’m going to have to think about it and consider the options.
When the son (who offered to take the test for me) looked at the problems I was having to solve, he said “Mom. I don’t do math like this. What the (beep)?” And he’s a senior in electrical engineering so yeah. There’s that. Man, my blood pressure is going up just thinking about it. I’m going to go do something soothing like eat a buttered roll and get ready to meet with my Prayer Group. We do that every Wednesday. I’m going to ask for guidance for my future. If I’m meant to be an algebra-deficient non-degree-ed something, then so be it. If God wants me to have the degree, I’m hoping He’ll make that abundantly clear.