Thursday, April 19, 2007

1 + 2 = ?

I have never been a mathematician. Even the simplest addition can throw me into a cold sweat. I won't agree to host a garage sale unless my husband promises he will handle the money-no bathroom breaks, no disappearing acts, he will not leave the premises for any reason. I refuse to count change to anyone who gives me a twenty dollar bill for a pair of dull scissors-25 cents, a bowl-75 cents, a paperback book-5 cents and an odd assortment of ties at 15 cents apiece. No way! Won't do it!

I know my fear of math goes back to a horrible experience I had in the third grade, Mrs. Early's class. We were having an arithmetic test and we were warned not to fail it. Everyone who made an E--back in those days we didn't have Fs--would head out to the hall for a good paddling. Three licks, no less. I got my three licks. That was the beginning of the end when it came to me and math. From that moment on just looking at numbers caused an invisible shield to go up inside my head and absolutely nothing could penetrate it. The more my parents threatened me, beat me, grounded me, the worse I became. I could not make higher than a D in math.

I hear kids today asking why they need math, they aren't going to use it and they sure aren't going into any field of work where they have to use it. My own daughter said the same thing. My response is, you'll be just like me. You won't be able to have a garage sale without someone to handle the money. You can't work in any fast food establishment where you might get stuck behind the cash register. And no, cash registers don't do the thinking for you. Hey, you can't even own your own business if you aren't comfortable with numbers. Goodness, it takes every ounce of smarts I've got to determine if I'm getting the right amount of change back when I pay for my Happy Meal.

Worst of all, at least for me, I struggle when trying to figure out how many pages I have left to write on my novel. (I deal in pages!) :-D

Go ahead, laugh, but us math-challenged people have a serious problem when it comes to numbers, and it's embarrassing so don't invite us over for a game of cards. Sure, it might be rebellion (as my parents thought) or it could be psychological, but whatever it is, I tell you it's real.

So help me out here. Check to see if I'm right:
I need 220 pages
I have 125 pages
I need 95 more pages
I should write at least 5 pages each day to complete my book by May 8th.
Correct?

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.
~Saint Augustine

1 comment:

Jess Burkhart said...

Sounds right to me, but we share our fear of math! I'm awful at math, really truly terrible. That's why I write! :)