Thursday, September 18, 2008

Math: Making Me Crazy Since 1978.

I dropped that math class and all is right with the universe again. I hated admitting to myself that I wasn't up to it, but I just wasn't up to it. Even after working with a tutor twice a week for the first few weeks, I couldn't keep up. I've never felt so lost in a class in my life.

The course was called Applicable Math, and it was designed for non-math majors, but particularly for the sciences, economics, and social sciences. From the description it looked like something I could handle, but once I was into it I realized it required a facility with high school algebra that I may have barely had when I was 17, but it's been 30 years since I've had a math class.

After I took my last math test in high school -- I still have it that test in a scrapbook somewhere; it was a real nailbiter; my 4.0 gpa depended on getting an A in Algebra II and getting an A in Algebra II depended on getting at least I think a 94 on that math final and I think I got something like a 94. 3 -- I promptly evicted things like factoring and quadratic equations from my brain. In defense of my neurotic need to get good grades, I knew that if I could pull off a 4.0 I would get a bunch of scholarship money (I did) which would allow me to go to college out of state. At the time I was hellbent on moving to a place where nobody knew me so I could come out. I have second-guessed that decision many times because I think that Indiana University in Bloomington would have been a great school for me and a great environment to be in at that age, but who can say. (One more way in which intolerance of gay kids fucks with their lives, in case anyone is making a list.)

I had registered for 18 hours this semester anyway, so dropping the class is not such a big deal. There's another math class for non-majors which looks like it approaches the subject more from a philosophy point of view. Maybe I'll be more suited to that one. I have to take one math class to get my B.A., but for now, I can get on with the semester and put my energy into more important classes.

The temperature dropped by about 20 degrees this week, another reason for celebrating. I love getting up in the morning and it's cool, and I'm not already soaked with sweat just from walking to the bus stop in the morning. (You know you live in Texas when it's 70 degrees out and the bus driver has the heat on in the bus.)

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