Let me tell you, if I am ever thinking about how much I miss high school, all I have to do is try to solve a couple of math problems, and I’ll remember that only sadists and masochists enjoy high school. I suppose that the thought of P.E. class turns me off almost equally, especially with my lung capacity at what it is. But, regardless, as I sit here trying to compute, I remember what my beef with math is: I have never been able to fully grasp mathematical concepts. I have gripped the edges or beginnings or some parts of it, and have always felt like the answer was right in front of me and I was just missing it, not seeing or remembering something, and that is the most frustrating thing.
I am sitting down in the basement of my house, on the floor on a rug, room dimly lit, tapestries all around, my best friend next to me tinkering on her guitar, playing familiar folk songs, but whistling in place of the lyrics–I’m feeling all kinds of bohemian as I scribble down craziness and jibberish in my notebook (nevermind that it is actually not creative writing, but just me trying feebly to find the answers to simple mathematical problems assigned to my friend, who is going back to school to get her diploma.
But my methods are rusty, to say the least, and even when they were fresh, I was never very good at wrapping my head around any of it. It has been two years, or more, since I have done anything more than simple math, and even then the math was simple, nothing I couldn’t eventually circle my way around to. Maybe it’s the herb that’s working against me, but I think that it was actually (previously) keeping me super-focused and ultra-interested, ha. Really though, I think that there was a lack of interdisciplinary education, because seeing something in terms of something else, a comparison, helps to give perspective, and that helps you understand what mathematics is, and why it is significant, and how it applies to other things (ie: literature, science, nature, everything), something I did not figure out until college. Mathematics was simply memorization for me.
I can respect it, but never grasp it fully, and since I have to hate what I don’t know (right?!) I’d rather be without math, and off with it’s head! But I’d better press on, and try to help out a little more. It’s got to be rattling around up there, somewhere.