Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Ratio of Humble Pie is...

Oh who cares?  I'm eating the whole pie.

Which is good because while I know Pi =3.14159265359...I've never once understood why, not even when I learned it.  Back in the day, I just memorized and regurgitated, without ever understanding.  Perhaps because few math facts ever were digested, it continues to disagree with me.  At the very least, we lack tolerance for one another. However this discipline and I have worked out an uneasy truce, born of years of systemic consenting neglect, reinforcing our mutual disdain.

But today, I forced myself to reenter the math world, and discovered a whole new reason to hate it.

I'm studying for the Praxis, and that means passing the math.   That means studying.   It also means my teenagers get to mock me mercilessly for my errors.   I'd love to tell them to knock it off, but it's hard to do that when you need them to explain the problems.   It is the cost of doing business with adolescent tutors.

I took the English practice Praxis.  I scored a 99 of 100 and finished in 1/3 of the time.

I took the Math practice and got a 63.   If they don't let me use scratch paper, it will be far worse.

During the exam, I could hear my gray cells squeaking and creaking, as the neurons fired up and found that a whole section of my grey matter needs dusting.   I did remember the slope formula y=mx+b.  Alas, I found it a slippery slope formula as I couldn't remember what to do with it.   On a multiple choice quiz, you don't get any points for recalling partially what is needed, and eenie-meenie-miney-moe proved itself to be an unreliable method of determining the answer.  So much so, I'm fairly certain when I take the actual test, there will be a word problem as follows:

If Sherry guesses at the Praxis on the math section for 1/5 of the 40 problems and gets only 1/5 of those guesses correct, what total number did she miss by guessing?  (I'm not going to go easy on you and give you the answer not because I'm mean but because I actually don't know, don't want to know, and don't want to know even if you know, how to know it).  

So after listening to my children question how I could not know what I obviously did not, how I could forget so much, how I've managed to walk upright and drive given my limited command of arithmetic, I went back to the world of words and took another test.  But my brain felt tired.  I scored only a 92.

Looking at the score with disgust and fatigue, all I could say was, "Et tu Brutus?" and wonder if I failed badly enough, would they send me to 7th grade as a student?   My only comfort, one day, these teenagers will grow up, they'll become adults in the adult world, and hopefully, they'll have children.  Hopefully, one day they'll discover they've been lapped by their kids, and I'll be right there, handing them the recipe for humble pie or Pi.   You take 3.14159265359...

1 comment:

Colleen Duggan said...

This post makes me feel so much better. Horrible at math, but I love words. Oh, I love words!

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