Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am not good at math. At all. To the point that when Troy is out of town and Nic brings home 2nd grade math homework, I break out in hives. Never mind that it’s been a LONG time since I was in school, or that they do math completely differently now, or maybe just in the British schools. Plain and simple, I am bad at math.

Poor Troy, not only does he have to help Nic with his math homework, he has to help Meg as well. And Meg, poor girl, has her Mother’s inadequate head for math. I sit and watch Troy try and figure out how he could possibly come up with one more way to explain it while Meg just looks at him like “Huh?”

When I took high school geometry, I got a D (not a very not normal grade for me.) And that was only because I had a tutor! I The ONLY math class I have ever done well in (I got an A!) was Business and Consumer Math, which I took my Senior year of high school. It was great. I learned to do a budget, payroll, balance a checkbook and all sorts of other useful things. I actually LIKED that class.

Even then, I went to college and bounced checks because I was staggered by the huge size of the numbers when my student loans came in from Canada (a big mistake to give them to me instead of directly to my school!)

I’m the designated “math person” in our family. If Heather dies, I won’t know how to run a computer; if I die, Meaghan and Nic won’t know how to add or subtract.

Over the years, I’ve had a number of interesting math teachers.

First, there was Mr. Grootenhuis in 8th grade. I remember that he called lunch “dinner” and once grabbed a kid by the scalp and propelled him out the classroom door with one powerful thrust of his hand.

For 9th grade algebra, I had Mr. Wagner. I remember him because he often burst out unexpectedly “BONUS!” when a kid got an answer right. He also would often scowl and say, “Some people’s kids…” when someone got an answer wrong.

For 10th grade geometry there was Mr. Ski. Yes, that was his name, but we called him Lurch, because he looked like the pale behemoth featured on the macabre television program “The Addams Family”. Mr. Ski was also an athletics coach. I suspected he was some kind of cybernetic life-form, because he could draw a perfect circle without a protractor, and that is no exaggeration.

I always got “A-plusses” in math, and I never studied and never did any homework, no kidding. My classmates hated me. Until 12th grade calculus. I only got a C and I did have to study. That’s when my “beautiful mind” began to fade.

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