If Only I Had Known Hating Math Is a Generational Sin: Background

It has been a long summer. But, the length is not attributed to the hours of sunlight or lazy days by the lake or the page numbers in books. It is based on one necessary, but arduous task. Conquering algebra!

If only I had known hating math is a generational sin, I would have never thrown my math book on the table and yelled, “I don’t get it!” I would have dutifully written equations instead of writing poetry in class. I would have tried to like it for the mere reason that my math-teacher parents love it.

But, math is my nemesis as much as poetry is my muse. Math chose my younger siblings as its allies. My sister, 18 months younger than I, was in my geometry class, my most feared of all classes for its elusive proofs and right angles. I still shudder at the picture of a castle made of cones, spheres, and pyramids. Rather than find the area, I flipped over the page. Although we both agree we had a less-than-great experience, she fared better than I. My brother, six years younger, was also studying high school math at that time. I remember him determining how long it would take Joe and Bill to paint a room based on rate or area or maybe arm-length. I defiantly asked, “What color?” and proceeded to write a poem about Joe and Bill’ decor. (Incidentally, if the paint is red, color does matter!)

When we decided to home school, the geometric nightmares about cones, spheres, and pyramids returned. But, it was the unknowns in algebra that eluded my fourteen-year-old, causing him to yell “I don’t get it!” and retreat to his room to play ear-splitting hard rock tunes to drown out his blues.

But, the long summer has ended, the tests are graded, and the book is closed. We learned far more than quadratic equations.

I will dedicate several posts to our discovery about the exponential weight of hate and how a nemesis has become a muse.

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