Okay. So maybe math isn’t my biggest fear. That would be failure or ghosts; waking up in a bed full of cockroaches; getting shot; being stranded in the desert…alone; plummeting head first from a very tall cliff. I could continue here, but I’ll save you from the misery. Although math may not be my biggest fear, it still scares me. I’m talking about sweaty palms, pale face, racing heart with that deer-stuck-in-the-headlights look on my face.
I haven’t had a math class since my freshman year of college. I can’t even tell you what course it was, but I do remember my professor. The great Mickey Smith. He loved me. I think it had something to do with the fact that I was the only student who never missed a class and the only student who made an “A” on every single assignment and every single test. Just call me a nerd.
High school wasn’t so bad either. Fortunately I have a wonderful mom who is a math genius. She’s from Egypt, so I swear it has something to do with that ancient, Middle Eastern blood of hers. She would sit with me, night after night, as I cried into my math textbooks, shredding my homework into tiny bits of paper that I’d toss around the room as I repeatedly screamed, “I GIVE UP!” Why she put up with that nonsense, I don’t know. I never acted that way with anything else. Just math. I think the fact that I actually struggled with something just got to me.
But somehow I always ended up with an “A” in math, well, except for Geometry. The only math course I’ve ever made a “B” in. Calculus, Algebra I & II, Trig: not a problem. So why am I scared of math?
It’s the numbers, man.
There’s just something about them. It’s like my mind freezes up. Yesterday in my Contemporary Issues course, Dr. Roberts gave us a hands-on lecture on precision journalism. He had us calculate the per-cap, per-resident, inflation rate…you know, I can’t even tell you what we did. But I did it, and I halfway understood what was going on. But if you asked me to go back and do it, say, a week later, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. That’s why I bombed the math portion of the ACT and the GRE. Numbers and equations are scary.
That’s my relationship with math. Which is why I got my undergraduate degree in English. Reading. Writing. Interpreting. That’s just my thing. My sister was blessed with my mother’s math genes while I got the good ol’ literary mind. Can’t complain…
Enjoy these little happies!