I’ve recently discovered that my 5 year old son is excellent at math. Not excellent as in “he can add 2 + 2”, but excellent as in he did multiplication by 9 in the car on the way to school this morning. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that he has an interest and aptitude toward mathematics. I intend to nurture and foster that gift so that he’ll have every opportunity available to him. My issue is, I SUCK at math.

I got a 1200 on my SAT, but 710 of that was on the language side. In college, I had to start off on a 5 credit hour remedial algebra course that didn’t even count toward my GPA. I got a C in the class. Next up was Calculus 101, one of 4 required calculus courses for my engineering degree. I failed it. I took it again in the fall. Got a D. I skipped it for spring (my psyche needed a break), and took it for the 3rd time in the summer. Got a B, but only because my professer, Dr. Cover, was a raging alcoholic, and would frequently come to class still drunk from an all-nighter at the local strip club. On those days, he’d give an imaginary pop-quiz, and give us all A’s. That way we wouldn’t complain to Administration. Needless to say, I didn’t learn any calculus. Feeling bold, I took Calculus 102, which bitch-slapped me and questioned my manhood. I wisely dropped the course before failing it outright. During that same period, I took Physics 101, another required course, and a course based mostly on calculus. I think it was friends with Calc 102, because I failed it so bad, the professor pulled me aside one day and said “You know, I’ve had people NOT take tests and do better than you do. You should consider another major.” Naturally, being a prideful man, I took that as a challenge. And naturally, my F fit in well with the others I received for calculus. So what did I do? I took it again. And failed it again. At that point, I realized that anything math-related wasn’t for me. I got my degree in English 2 and a half years later.

As a result of my failures, I feel completely ill-equipped to handle his increasingly difficult math queries. Yeah, it’s cool now with the “What’s 9 times 7, Daddy? Is it 63?” questions. But what the hell am I going to do when he comes home with one of these in his back pocket?

Posted by Hello
Maybe Dr. Cover is available for tutoring – because I’ll need it.