Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Some people are good at math. Some people are great at math. Some people are genius' when it comes to math. I am not any of those people. Unless it's your basic addition or multiplication, you will see steam coming out of my ears. Throw in making me have to borrow or carry numbers and you'll see a TILT sign on my forehead.

It's not pretty.

For me, numbers just don't make sense. I mean, you put series of letters together, sound them out and you make a word. Add an extra letter and you change the word. I get that. THAT makes sense.

But put a group of numbers together and then add in some more numbers, and to me you just have a bunch of random numbers.

For the record...don't even get me started on algebra. I'm convinced that's some kind of terrorist brain-washing technique. Oh, oh, oh...and what is up with fractions? Especially with the bottom number being different? Come on!

Back when I was in school you were forced to take a minimum of two years of math. I used to walk down the hallways smacking friends upside the head when I'd hear they signed up for extra math classes. I mean seriously, why would you do that?

I tried to sign up for "general math", which was for those who really struggled in math. It was considered the "Math For Dummies" class. Sounded perfect for me. But noooooo. They said I needed to be in the algebra class instead. That means I must have been better at math than some people. God help those poor severely math challenged people!

There were two kinds of math problems that used to make me especially crazy.

One was like this:

4 8 15 16 23 42 ___ Fill in the blank with the number that comes next.

Honestly...WHO CARES? It doesn't mean anything. It's still going to just be a random group of numbers. Seriously!

And then there are the torturous story problems:

You purchased one pound of candy for $7. At what price do you need to mark the candy for sale in your candy shop, if you wish to offer a 48% discount to your customers, but you need to earn a 56% profit on the original cost?

Or this one:

A carpenter is building a ramp to a platform that is nine feet off the ground. The ground is perfectly level, and he begins 16 feet away from the structure. How long will the face of the ramp be?

You want to know how I'd answer those? I'd say hire a sales rep and a carpenter to do those jobs for you, and let's go get our nails done.

Since Austin has been in elementary school he has delighted in bringing home math problems for me. I always try to stump him by making up a problem, but he gets it in no time at all. He has always been a whiz kid when it comes to math. He's one of those kids I would have smacked in the hallway, since he's even in the advanced math classes at school. Makes me wonder if he really is genetically related to me.

And God bless him, he keeps trying to help me understand numbers. He'll try breaking it way down, but I still don't get it. Then he'll look over at his dad and shake his head laughing.

Hello, my name is Dena. I am math illiterate, and I'm ok with that.


sara said...


The Naths said...

Yep, I feel ya! YUCK! Kristina is really good at math. She loves it. She hums and sings while she does her math and yells, "Hey! This is fun! It's so easy!" In fact she was having so much "fun" today, she did a whole chapter! My least favorite were the story problems too! If train X left the station at 8:30 in New York, and Train Y left Chicago at 9:00, and they were both going 60m/h, how many red-heads were on train X? Even though, I totally just made that up and it makes no sense, the ones that were supposed to make sense, made about as much sense to me as the one I just made up! I mean, with the first number word, my mind would kind of go to that special place where it was saying "LaLaLaLa."

Becky said...

Too funny. I always liked math, it came pretty easy to me.


Hey! No hitting!


Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Amen Sista! My comments to my kids at homework time range from,
"I'm sorry honey--I'm just not mathy..." to, "No hablo mathpanola. Si si burrito. Lo siento!" My only daughter is in "enriched" classes and last night we she acutally wanted me to help her solve something when f(x) and G(x squared plus 5)...oh...heck with it. No hablo mathpanola...