Day 39 – Math

If you know me, you know my feelings about math.

Addition. Subtraction. Multiplication. Division. We get along. Well, we do okay. I’m not working multiplication problems for fun or dreaming about long division. We tolerate, and maybe even respect each other.

Get beyond that, and my blood pressure begins to rise. Algebra? I start to feel physically ill. Geometry? Instant migraine. Calculus or Trigonometry or any complex problem that looks more like hieroglyphics than a math problem? I’d rather light myself on fire than have to try to figure that out. Sorry, my English major writer brain just doesn’t work that way. Give me a 20-page paper to write or a sentence to diagram and you’ll hear zero complaints. Give me a math problem to solve and I’m going to call you a filthy name and start to question our friendship.

Luckily, I’ve spent the last 20 years not having to use much of that math they kept trying to tell me I needed to take in high school. My Guidance Counselor, Mr. Larson, lectured me daily to take more than the minimum two years of math required for graduation. He said I would need it to be admitted to college, and I told him that I was planning to major in English and Creative Writing and any college that wouldn’t admit me without having a third year of math was a college I probably didn’t want to go to anyway.

In college, I found out I had to take two math classes. Of course I put them off until my senior year. I begrudgingly took College Algebra and managed to earn a B (because Professor Allport was the first person to actually explain Algebra in a way I could understand). When Spring registration rolled around, I set up a meeting with the Provost, David Jacobson, and presented him with a detailed argument on why the final math requirement should be waived because it was useless information for my future and a blatant waste of money and credit hours. He told me that while this was the best argument he’d ever heard, he couldn’t just change the requirements for me. Then he jotted down the name of a class (Math for the Liberal Arts) on a sheet of paper and slid it across the desk to me, telling me to add it to my schedule for the Spring and I’d be fine.

I walked out with a B+ and I was fine.

And for the last 20 years, math and I have kept a respectful and mutually-agreed upon distance from one another, occasionally crossing paths when I need to do some budgeting or or help Cadence with a homework problem, or when Henry decides he wants to play the Math Bingo game on the iPad. And all those teachers who said I was going to use Algebra and Geometry every day? Liars.

And then today happened, and some sadist at HelloFresh decided to throw in some bullshit fractions into tonight’s recipe just to make me squirm.

I mean, if you’re going to tell me to use 1/3 of the cheese, can’t you just put it in one package, or divide it into three packages? You’re supposed to be simplifying my dinner prep you jerks, not making my brain bleed.

So, I improvised and just used however the hell much cheese I wanted, and you know what? It still tasted delicious.

And now I’m ready for another 20 years maintaining a respectable distance from anything beyond long division. Thanks math, it’s been fun. Don’t call me; I’ll call you.

Project Life 365 – Day 15 – Confusing

So, my hubby is studying for the GMAT. God bless him. Thirteen years after graduating college, he has decided that it’s time to go back and earn another degree. The only problem is, it’s been thirteen years since he’s taken a standardized test. So, he did the smart thing and bought a couple of study guides to help refresh his memory.

For the past few weeks, he’s been working his way through the rules of grammar and dozens of sentence correction practice tests. If you didn’t know what he was doing, you might think he’d developed a mild case of Tourette’s. Poor guy. With all the ridiculous rules that make up the English language, he’d have an easier time just giving up on the grammar and learning Chinese.

So, this week, he thought he’d give himself, and his English-overloaded brain a little break and review one of his favorite subjects–math.

Yeah, you heard me right. I said math. Specifically Algebra and Geometry.

I guess it’s really true that opposites attract. Here’s my hubby who would rather stick a sharpened pencil in his eye than have to name the parts of a sentence or identify an idiom, and then there’s me…the math moron. Seriously, folks, opening a book and seeing this immediately sparks a migraine…


And being told I have to solve it can make me downright homicidal.

Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly true, but I’d rather do anything, ANYTHING than have to sit down and try to solve a math problem. Seriously, anything. Name it.

See, I don’t know how to explain it, other than there is nothing in this world more confusing to my brain than an algebra problem. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. I got that. No problem. But you start throwing letters and fractions and decimals and symbols in there and the world starts swimming around in front of my eyes and I feel like maybe the blood vessels in my brain have started bursting. Stare at quadratic equation long enough and I can forget my own name. So, I steer clear, and I’ll leave the math problems to my sweet hubby who thinks solving them is fun.

Yeah, he’s crazy, but I love him anyway. 😉

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