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Maths

May 21, 2020

I have no problem admitting that I can not do math. I figure it's better to let people know up front in order to manage their expectations of me. I don't mean that I'm not good at math. I mean, I seriously can not do math. If I have to add 58 + 67 I will 100% open up a calculator. (Trust, I know where the calculator apps are located on ALL my devices.)

 

I can't remember numbers either. I've probably entered my credit card number online thousands of times by now and I could not tell you what the first digit is on that card. 

 

You know how there are right-brained and left-brained people? I can never remember which brain is which so I just think of it as Math-brained and Word-brained. My husband and son are both math-brained people but I am 100% a word-brained person. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Elijah could do math in his head in second grade that I had to scratch out on paper.

 

In every job I've ever had, I've gone to the Controller and said, "I'm trying to do this report, and I had this many media hits in the first quarter and this many in the second. What percentage increase is that?" At first they always try to show me how to figure it and I'm all, "No, no, don't bother. Just tell me the number." Then I'll offer to proofread a letter for them or something in return. 

 

In my current job I constantly use the excuse, "I was told there would be no math...." I'm the only journalism graduate in a site full of engineers. I know what I bring to the party. I'm Penny with the scientists here. I've presented reports and one of them would be all, "Ummm...how can this number on page 4 be right when back here on page one only 57% are blah blah whatever...?" How he could catch a mistake like that or even notice it, I'll never understand. So I shrug and say, "Hmm, I'll check on that" and it turns out I transposed some digits. There is no point pretending to these people like I understand numbers. 

 

In college, I took a class called "Concepts of Numbers" because I started out as an Early Childhood Education major and that's what the curriculum called for. (I know that sounds like a made-up class that someone LIKE ME would have made up but it is real.) Then I changed majors and took College Algebra and then Trig. The semester before I graduated, my advisor told me I was short one math - that I needed three to graduate. I was all, "I have three." and she said, "Concepts of Numbers is only half-a-math. You have to take Concepts of Algebra to complete it." I was so mad. I've taken College Algebra and TRIG and you're telling me I have to go back and take Concepts of Algebra?? She said I could take whatever math I wanted, didn't matter. 

 

Well what do you think, that I'd take Calculus? Please. I slept through that stupid 'Concepts of Algebra' and scored an easy A. Only purposely Easy A I ever took. 

 

Of all the maths, Algebra was the one I was halfway decent at. Somehow I could wrap my head around get-x-alone/whatever-you-do-to-one-side-do-to-the-other. What will NEVER make sense to me, even to this day, is letters in math. I mean, what the hell even is that? I figured out how to solve for x. I still don't know what x was doing in that equation. 

 

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