Daily Archives: January 30, 2011

I was a failure!

I was a complete and utter failure in school when it came to math (or algebra or whatever you’d like to call it).  In standardized testing I ended up testing in the bottom five percent of our population.  I switch numbers in my head, so when it came to memorizing the multiplication tables I was hooped.  64’s became 46’s, and vise versa.  Later on I’d fail at any concept that I couldn’t visualize.  Provide  me with a way to rectify the equations in a tangible manner and I’d breeze through the chapter.  Otherwise, and generally, I was in way past my ability to stay afloat.  All through school I thought I must be an absolute idiot.  It was hard on my self esteem, and interfered with so much I’d hoped to do or become.  But today I know better.

As an adult, in every day life, I can often figure out number problems faster than my “high honor roll” husband.  He comes to his answers the way the teachers insist one should…  I come to them by means that baffle and confuse anyone who’s ever asked “how did you figure that out so quick?”

Even simple math problems get answered in a way vastly different than we are taught to find the answers.  Today, for example…  I needed to know how much it would be for three items that were $3.50 each.  Easy, right?  $10.50  But the interesting part is how I arrive at that figure.

Most people simply multiply 3.50 by 3…  Me?  Well, I know that three threes is nine, and .50 three times is 1.50…  together they make 10.50.  And be glad that’s an easy one.  LMAO  The way I arrive at correct numerical answers would astound most.

Anyway…  the whole point of this is simply to say that numbers tormented me as a child.  I was taught that I couldn’t do math, that I didn’t have the capacity.  The bottom five percent of society, incapable of even the most basic math skills.  But it wasn’t true.  I just fail at “textbook” math.

Should children be punished because they can’t arrive at an answer the way society insists they arrive at it?  I don’t think so.  There has to be a better way.  Do I have the answer?  Do I have a solution?  Unfortunately no.  But I do know that the way things are is not okay.  The status quo is simply not good enough.  If I am capable of surpassing honor roll math intellect in terms of speed and accuracy than surely there are others who were also failed by the education system – or who ARE being failed by it at this very moment.  Can’t something be done?

 

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