Karmic Moment: Math

I totally believe the Buddhist notion that everything is circular, nothing is permanent.  Here's why.  

It is fair to say that I spent the first twenty years of my life with one real ambition: to get away from math.  I was bad at math.  Really bad.  I worked so hard, and still everything past memorizing basic math facts eluded me.  Algebra was the worst.  The letters (or as mathy people might call them variables) did me in.  They didn't belong there.  They belonged in my English class.  They belonged in my desk copy of The Call of the Wild.  But they definitely did not belong with those crazy numbers.  Can you tell I'm still traumatized?  

I dropped out of math during my senior year of high school.  I was drowning.  Two teachers went to my high school counselor and told her they were worried about me.  Two teachers!  And this was at a big public school.  The counselor called my mother, my mother told me my counselor called.  It was bad, and, of course, it all ended with me sobbing in my counselor's office and my counselor telling me to just drop the damn class because I didn't need four years of math anyway.  

The day I dropped that class was probably one of the ten happiest days of my life.  And it was followed by many other happy days, years, decades, as I made a life that revolved around the almost absolute absence of math.  

And then my daughter went to middle school.  I am sad to say that my daughter, a lovely and intelligent girl, inherited my math genes.  So now she comes home school.  Tries to do her math homework and of course it is impossible because it is pre algebra, and she, too feels offended by those damn x's and y's.  

Which gets me back to my point: Having spent a lifetime avoiding and fearing math, I must now not just learn it but I must teach it to my seventh grader.  

It just goes to show: there is no finished business in life.  There are only finished mathsheets.  And they are in someone else's house.  

1 comment:

Susan C said...

That last line cracked me up!