By Uncle Joe
Virginia Beach, Virginia
August 25, 2017 10:33pm CST
One of the reasons I was 10 years old before I discovered that my name wasn’t “Stupid” was because that was the impression I left on my father. Not that I didn’t do stupid things as a kid but he narrowed it down for me. The thing HE couldn’t understand was why I couldn’t seem to mater math. Although he only went to the 3rd Grade he excelled in the subject. In his opinion, any intelligent person should. It didn’t seem to matter that I received good grades in my other subjects, if I didn’t know how to multiply sums in my head, I was just plain stupid. It was his idea for me to quit school at 15 because I was just wasting time and money. That stigma stuck with me through my first 40 years. When I earned my G.E.D. at age 34 the math was the most difficult to pass. I guess you could say I made that by “the skin of my teeth”. Still, to me, that was as good as a high school diploma. That certainly softened up the “dumb” complex. For what it was worth, I knew at 34 that I was probably as smart as any 18 year-old. Then, at 39, the door opened for me to go to college. Not night classes or online, but I became a full time student. That began one of the most difficult 3 ½ years I’ve ever experienced. There was a world of difference between learning so much new information and the construction and transportation industries I had been more comfortably involved in before. By the time I reached my Senior year, the topics weren’t easier, but I knew better how to study and deal with them to get passing grades. It was still a struggle but I was almost done. Then came the last prerequisite. The course I had to pass to get my degree. You guessed it, math. Fortunately, my 15 year-old daughter was a math whiz. So was her mother. Had she not coached me through algebra I would have never passed. Nevertheless, for the first time in my life, I felt almost intelligent. Right up until I started that math course. It was hard but I was learning, or so I thought. My pride took a direct hit from my instructors answer when I complained aloud one day, “When will I ever need this stupid algebra?” “You probably won’t!” he replied, “But the smarter students in this class will!”
7 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
The chick I'm freeloading off of at the moment hates math too. She I've heard her muttering a few times that planning a quilt flimsy would be easier if she's paid attention in Grade 10 math (a class she managed to flunk spectacularly).
• United States
I'm not good at math either. I could never pass intermediate algebra and therefore could never transfer out of community college to university. My younger brother, on the other hand, holds a Master's degree in mathematics. Apparently all the smarts when it comes to math went to him. Although he was told he was stupid and would never be good at math by his 7th grade math teacher, and he only focused on becoming brilliant at math just to prove her wrong. I don't put too much weight in being good at math or not, you really don't need to use the more difficult math (like algebra) in most real life situations.