Raise your hand if you hated Math in High School. Yeah I knooooow! Us artsy guys prefer theory over formulas, trigonometry, angles, probability and all other Mathematics. If I had a choice to drop Math in High School, I would have. I don’t know why I never liked Math, maybe it had to do with the teacher or it was just me. I hated Math. I mean who ever finds X? Why can’t they tell us to find G or F or Y, why just X? Solving Math problems was just like telling me to speak in Greek. I think I blacked out whenever the lesson started. Don’t get me wrong I kind of did averagely well, I did try but I still hated it.I would much rather had been hearing the History of World War 1 or 11, evolution or drawing in an art and design class. Now that I was very good in. For all my very hard efforts, I got a D! I would like to think D for Distinction…whatever helps me sleep at night. Well I thought I would put it out there, you know finally embrace my failures, something about the future not being determined by your past kind of mantra.
I realize since it doesn’t matter anyway, my life turned out alright, I have not been scarred by that one grade after all. I realize Math iko na wenyewe (it has its own people)…direct translation. I get it Math is important, we use it daily, but the damned thing would not get in rhythm with me or was I the one who refused to get into the groove of it. Anywho blaming won’t change the fact that my results had been permanently tarnished with the D grade. It was all just random numbers, figures, lines, shapes, tables…all swirling around on paper, making me dizzy eventually.
I’m great in Art, sciences just wouldn’t befriend me. Don’t get me started with my tumulus relationship with Physics, Chemistry was a lot less torturous but for the life in me I could not cram the ions Table which was used in every formula and question in the exam. Yet another random set of symbols and letters that caused my brain to sweat out its grey matter. I enjoyed Biology all those bone structure, skin, plants food hierarchy…at least these were more practical than adding, subtracting, Pi formulas…mad science.
So where do I use Math in everyday life? Making a budget especially once you have moved out of the house and you no longer wait on your folk to hand you money for everything. Math has never been harder than when you see a handbag you have been eyeing for some time that is now on sale yet you remember that you have not paid your rent. Or when a friend borrows money from you promising to return at a certain date, meanwhile you have already budgeted for it only for that friend to not honor her promise. That is when you know 2+2 is never 4.
Math usually comes in handy when you go out for Pizza and you are 7, and you have to decide who among you will get the last piece or will you have it cut up so that you all get a share of the all-important slice. See? Math’s helps. You will always go back to your Math when you are given your change after shopping and you realize that you have been shortchanged. Whether you liked, loved or loathed Math, you will do the calculations in your head. Until you get where the short change had occurred. I try to do simple calculations in my head sometimes but I end up doing it over and over in my brain till I believe that it is the right sum. Mostly I’ll just end up writing it down on paper. I am yet to use Trigonometry in everyday life, but who knows maybe one day I’ll get to use it, but where? Any clues?
Surprisingly when I went to university there was a compulsory course I had to take. Statistics. I saw the title and the darkness had already started swallowing me up. Then came probability that we had done in High School, which just confused me then, but I got it. I finally understood the whole concept of probability which I had struggled with in high school. It was…dare I say…fun? At the end of the Semester I got a grade B! You’d think I won a million bucks or something. Seriously why couldn’t I get it in High School and then come and enjoy it in University? I blame the high school teacher fully, or maybe just myself, either way high school Math just had an attitude of its own.
I don’t think I’ll ever like Math, for me it’s like that bad memory you suppress at the farthest corner of your mind never to be released. I have no regret about the grade I got for Math in high school, it is what it is. That grade did not define who I grew to be or what I ended up doing. Sure it was a learning moment but everything combined with the experiences I have gone through are what make who I am. A grade should not define you. Sure you did not get that A that you were working towards, don’t let it dent your dreams and confuse your reality.
You are not your grade. Whatever subject you are good at and whichever you are bad at, let them complement each other. Work harder on what you are great at, the one that is giving you a hard time, work your best so that at the end, you are balanced. When you fail one, there is that which you have won at. Nobody and I mean NOBODY ever fails at everything. Find that which you are great at and see how much you will enjoy yourself. For me Math was my nightmare but I chose to celebrate those subjects I got A’s and B’s, it never ended for me, I got to be who I am today because I chose to focus on my strengths and improve on my weaknesses. Math divorced me, but I married my Artsy Creativity and have never looked back. Make the most of everything you are good at, the rest it’s just details. Which subject was your best and/or worse?
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