Etc: Of Math and Munchies


I know this never happens to anyone else who writes but sometimes the ole’ well of wacky ideas is a bit on the lacking side. To help with this, I jump start my efforts by doing such things as procrastinating in other areas of my life, going to the grocery store or looking up words at random in a dictionary and then challenging myself to write using them. This is one of THOSE blog posts and today’s word is PARALLEL.

Parallel. Now that’s an interesting word. It makes me think of math. I hated math, especially in high school. It made me feel unsuccessful. It may be feel as though I was sitting in a foreign country with no translator. It made me feel, well, incongruent.

The terms, the geometric proofs, the theorems. I’m even getting a little ligh headed thinking about the “consumer math” class I took as a senior. While the rest of my buddies were in “math 5” – what was that anyway, I was in a class with shall we say students of all varying incapabilities trying to remember that the checkbook register contained both addition and subtration problems and that in the real world, we would NOT be dealing with Monopoly money.

Fast forward to my early twenties when stand alone ATM machines were the hottest trend in banking. I was enthralled. Pull up. Punch buttons. Get money. Spend. Receipts? Sure, I had them but was I really supposed to do something WITH them? In sweeps future husband to the rescue. But that’s another story. Back to high school and math there.

Am I still haunted today? I’ll let you guess on that one. That’s probably why God’s mercy extended to making sure the man I married was an accountant! I no longer had to cross my fingers and hope that when I hit the calculator’s total button at the end of the month, it would have a whole number and not one with a little dash in front of it, if you know what I mean.

Chocolate chip cookies + my high school math class = success. (Google images)

The only GOOD part about my math in high school was when I had Coach Meade for geometry. Chocolate chip cookies were helpful, and I’m not saying that my GPA improved, but it was easy to well, steer off the subject of mathematics and say, talk more about sports.

The first of my two cheating experiences in high school (and no, I am not proud of either) occurred in this class because, well, I didn’t trust myself to memorize what seemed like 3 billion theorems for proving proofs. Like I said earlier, I could have used a little help actually understanding the terms. Yes, I know what a right triangle is!

The episode was a one-time thing but from it I learned that it was better to struggle and flounder or barely make it than deal with guilt.

So, I’m guessing that the sum product of my math experience was a lesson worth learning. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Has math also blackened then brightened the experience of your life? My neice says M-A-T-H is actually an acronymn meaning Mental Abuse To Humans. Tell me what YOU think!


ETC: Proofs and their positive effect


Math was like being in a country without a translator.


That’s an interesting word. It reminds me of math. I hated math – especially in high school. Math made me feel unsuccessful. No one likes feeling unsuccessful. Sitting in math class was like sitting in a foreign country without a translator.

The terms, the geometic proofs, the parallelograms, the theorems.

Proofs were my ultimate mathematic downfall - but they taught me a lesson

Does it still haunt me? Yes! At the end of the month when I hit the total button on my calculator – I always hope it’s right. Sometimes I’ll go back and check. Good for me that I married an accountant!

The only good part about math was that it helped if we brought Mr. Meade chocolate chip cookies. I’m not saying it improved my GPA, but it made him happy and when he was happy we could distract him more, talk about sports and THEN get around to the math.

My first of two high school cheating experiences was in his math class because I did not trust myself to memorize the theorems for a test. What I did learn was that it was better to have struggled and barely passed than to feel guilty knowing that I had chosen to weaken my integrity.

Maybe math wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

(I wrote this post using a technique author Ray Bradbury used many times called “word association.” You pick a random word – I opened the dictionary, closed my eyes and pointed to a word – then write about whatever comes to mind for 5 or 10 minutes. You should try it!)

Just wondering: Do you have a special “association” with certain words in your life? Tell me!