Bad at Math

I have always told people I am bad at Math.

I'm not sure that was ever really the case.  I think in school I was impatient with Math.  I think I didn't want to take the time to be precise enough to make sure my work was done correctly.

Interestingly enough, I have been in a variety of Math conversations recently.

I was asked to find out some information on my Algebra I teacher from junior high, so I have been getting emails back from people saying what a wonderful math teacher she was, and how much they learned.

Unfortunately, that was not my experience.  And believe me, it had nothing to do with her ability as a teacher.  It was definitely my inability as a student.

You know what I remember most about Algebra I class?  (And this may be part of the problem of me not "getting" Algebra.)  My most vivid memory is of one of my male classmates having maggots in his lip to warm them up, then making a race track on the back of a spiral notebook, and putting the maggots on the "race track" and racing the maggots.  Then I think flicking the maggots at other students was also happening as well.

You are probably think, my gosh, what kind of red neck, hick junior high did you attend?

Granted, this probably only happened once or twice, but it is what I remember from class.

Tonight I was in a conversation with a Math teacher, and we started talking about "getting" Math, how you do eventually come to understand what is going on, if you keep doing the process.

In church on Sunday, I was talking to a student who is a freshman in college, and she had taken Pre-Calculus last year during her senior year.  She said she struggled with the class a bit, and didn't quite "get it" while in the class.  But now, in college, she is taking a Calculus class, and she said it is almost just like her class from last year, and she now "gets it", and is doing quite well in the class.

I think I didn't want to take the time to "get it".  I was too impatient.  Reading and writing, it came easy to me.  Math didn't.  I was slow at learning my times tables.  I was not careful carrying numbers, so I would make mistakes. 

The last Math class I ever took was Algebra II/Geometry II my senior year in high school.  I don't think I needed to take this class to graduate, but was told it would probably be good to take it to get ready for college.  Actually, I always enjoyed taking Geometry better than Algebra.  And I think I did okay in this class.  But I never had to take another Math class after my senior year in high school.  The course of study I took at the University of Idaho required you to take 9 credits of Math or Science.  You could take 9 credits of Science, and that fulfilled my requirement.  So I took 4 credits of Biology, 3 credits of Geology, and 2 credits of Mushroom Identification.  No Math.  (Yes, I got a degree in college by taking a class that taught me how to identify mushrooms!!)

I think Math got a bad rap in my life.  If I would have been a bit more methodical, paid a bit more attention, and practiced more, Math probably would have been fine.

But it wasn't, and I blame it all on the maggots!!!

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