Thursday, May 4, 2006

Math Quiz

In a word: no. I realize this week's post have been fluffy at best and I promise something you might be able to sink your teeth into tomorrow, but for this evening I have one more frivolous post. First, I had to share this great sign that my mom and sister picked up for me last time they were hanging out. I am horrific at all things math. My brain absolutely zones - it is really quite frightening. In fact when my Mom first gave this sign to me I was so busy trying to figure out if the math problems were indeed wrong that I missed the point ("There are three kinds of people...) It all brings me back to a far more frightening time... In order to graduate from college I had to pass a math course. After successfully failing "Math for the Liberal Arts" (SERIOUSLY mistitled!) during a school semester I decided my only shot was to take a math course during the summer at a Junior College near us. To open up the College Algebra class the professor asked us what our previous math experience was. I honestly shared that I had made it through High School Geometry and Algebra 1.5 (Note no Calculus even though I was in college prep). She then put a problem on the board and asked if any of us knew how to solve it. I looked at it and in a rush of memories (post-traumatic syndrome?) I yelled out, "FOIL!" She grimaced. I am not sure if that mnemonic device is universal but to me it meant 'First, Outside, Inside, Last' - a handy way to remember how to solve algebra problems that come with parenthesis. My 'kind' professor was quick to explain that this childish device will really only help you if you have only two numbers in the parenthesis and apparantly that is a rare occurrence once you get to College Algebra. After class she asked me to stay behind and told me that she thought I should drop the course. I think I uttered something profound like, "Ummm, what?" And then she told me that she was going to recommend to the registrar that I be dropped from the course. Can you do that? I begged, I pleaded and FINALLY I got across to her that in order to graduate from my four year school I needed this math credit. PLEASE do not kick me out - I need this class. That swayed her. She mumbled something about giving me a chance since I was not there for 13th grade. I have always felt bad for those who landed in her class and were trying to achieve something more for themselves and Junior College was the way they needed to go. I studied my ass off and got a 'C'.

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