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It’s Mathtastic!

I am an intelligent person.  I took all the advanced classes in school. I made good grades.  I function well in life.  I am almost able to beat Hubs at trivial pursuit.  I can correct grammatical errors in a flash.  I can spell well, I have well-developed logic and I have a mind like a steel trap.  In short, I’m no dummy.

However, I hate math.  I am capable of doing math, but since I’m grown and I have access to Google, calculators and live with two males with numbers in their brains, then I have the option to avoid math.  And I do.  I sooooo do.  If the kids need help with their math homework, they’d better find their father, because I’m having no part of it.  My kids, obviously, are aware of my aversion to math.  They come to me for help with English, Writing and History.  Sometimes Science.  I do not swear at Science (okay, on occasion I do, but that’s another post for another day).  I do swear at math, all the time.  It’s evil and tricky and it’s out to get me.   When I first discovered letters co-mingling with my numbers, it was the worst kind of betrayal.  Numbers are like a foreign language and they don’t even make a number-to-regular brain dictionary.  So, even though I can do math, I have no love for math.  Unless I need to figure out a tip or double a fraction in a recipe, I’m leaving it alone.  I’ll ask my ten-year-old to figure out simple math problems for me.  There’s no shame in my game.

via knowyourmeme.com

My daughter also has a rocky relationship with math.  She does pretty well, but it doesn’t come easy for her.  I have always been careful about my approach to math around her.  After all, who wants to propagate that ugly stereotype that girls suck at math?  Not me.  Girls don’t hate math.  I hate math.  And by nature or nurture, Cutie dislikes math, too.  We like things that make sense, like words.  But, for her, at least, it’s a cross that must be borne, at least until she finishes school and gets a lucrative enough job to move out of my house.  With the new school year upon us, we had a conversation last night about math.  It went something like this.

Mom: I got good grades in Algebra, but I never liked it.  You know what I liked, was Trigonometry.  That was easy and pretty fun.  Now, Calculus, ugh.  No one should ever take Calculus.  It’s of the devil.

Cutie:  Mom, I thought you had to be really smart to get into classes like Trigonometry.

Mom:  Well, those were the advanced…wait a minute.  You just called me dumb.

Cutie:  I did not!  You are the smartest person I know and also really pretty and young and thin.

Okay.  That’s not what she said.  That’s what a good child would have said.  What my kid said was this:

“I didn’t call you dumb.  I just meant, I thought you had to be REALLY smart for those classes.  I mean, like, really good at it.”

Yeah, yeah.  She called me dumb.  Cutie better recognize.  Not only am I smart enough to breeze through Trig, I am also smart enough to know when to wave the white flag at the Calculus that’s kicking my ass.  Further, I am smart enough to avoid all math forever after.  I’m even smart enough to birth a child to do my math for me, a human pocket calculator, if you will.  To Cutie’s credit, the backpedaling was immediate and furious, and to no avail.  She’s going to be hearing a lot about Mom’s stupidity, for a long time to come.

Mind like a steel trap, you know.

  1. August 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Obviously, you aren’t that bad at math, I would never make it through trig. When I started my degree program they made me take a “math placement” test. The deal is as soon as you have incorrectly answered three questions the test ends. I made it to a total of 5 questions and the test ended. Ha! So I had to start at math 085. That is the equivalent of eight grade math. Three non-college credit math classes later, I was finally ready for algebra. It was so painful. Finally, seven classes later, I qualify for the math portion of my degree and one day will be teaching math to kids, ha!

    • August 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I feel ya. Cutie’s sixth grade preAlgebra gave me a migraine. Math is fine while you’re in class, but approximately 42 seconds after I walk away from it, I completely forget everything. Thanks for the comment and making me feel a little better about my math deficiencies. 🙂

      • August 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        The easiest math class I had was one that met every single day for 6 weeks. I was completely immersed in it and that made it so I could truly focus. But now, I bet I would fail it.

  2. Chatter Master
    August 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Best line of the day: ” I’m even smart enough to birth a child to do my math for me,”


    • August 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Now that’s what you call a planned pregnancy! 😉

      • Chatter Master
        August 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

        It was brilliant! 🙂

  3. August 17, 2012 at 6:25 am

    See, I love math. But they keep changing it up! My kids maths homework is full of stupid numberlines and chunking and whatnot. Just teach my kids to add already!

    • August 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Math is a shape-shifter! I, too, hate all the new methods. One of the kids had a teacher who told them to learn their multiplication tables, but don’t memorize them. Uh, what? How do you manage that?

  4. jfinney
    August 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    This was awesome! I really enjoy reading your blog!

    • August 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks! Always glad to entertain…some good ought to come out of the ridiculousness in our house. 😉

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