I made an idiot of myself on the internet yesterday. Okay, it's not like it's the first time someone has been an idiot on the internet and it certainly won't be the last, but I claimed something was basic math without actually paying attention to the, um, basic math. Homer said it best: Doh.
Math has always been really hard for me. I say that not in a whiney "Math is hard." voice, but in a "Damn, I just don't GET it." tone. I flunked geometry the first time and both algebra and chemistry found me totally flustered. It's like I'm the math equivelant of color blind. I opted out of the sciences early on, even though I'm fascinated with the natural world, because I couldn't do the math.
For this sorry state of affairs I blame two people. First on the list: my 7th grade geometry teacher. This pale woman with fuzzy blonde hair would stand in front of the classroom openly yawning during her geometry lectures. Under the yellowish glow of the flourescents, she failed to enlighten me one bit about the mysteries of Pythagoras or how to find a hypontenous. Meanwhile, I dozed open-eyed at my desk, wondering whether my teacher had turned transparent, so seemingly absent was she. And this was before the pot-smoking days.
The other person I blame is, naturally, my dad. My dad was a math teacher for much of his life before he became a technical professional, and lately, he's been teaching math again. I think, in retrospect, it must have driven him completely wild that I could not for the life of me get what "x" was. Nor did I care. Numbers, which were his bread and butter, totally bored me. When he tried to tutor me through algebra, it was cold war for the entire term.
I don't think I need therapy to get over my math trauma, after all, I'm a fairly highly functioning adult. (Okay, I get that there's such a thing as denial.) I do, sometimes wish I saw the pattern, though, that I cared what "x" is, that I could make my brain pay attention to the most simple of math problems. I wouldn't mind making myself out to be just slightly less of an idiot than every other idiot on the Web. If you're an idiot on the internet once, you're an idiot forever. It's simple math.