Growing up I was always a good student, I prided myself on working hard, being prepared and getting top grades. But math was a misery to me – right through college.
I love writing – obviously – and the subjects that didn’t entail numbers were where I excelled. In math I struggled! I mean, I hated math, really hated it.
My dad, an engineer, sees numbers easily, and he couldn’t understand how I just didn’t GET this stuff. We had our share of spats when I went to him for math help. If I were forced to guess a number, I’d say that 90% of the time our tutoring sessions ended in tears and frustrations. That’s 9 out of 10 times – am I right on that?
My poor mother would leave the room and stick her head in a book whenever I asked my dad for math help – she knew the tension that was coming.
There was no Internet or online learning when we were growing up. I needed to learn math in a slow, deliberate, logical way and my dad’s fast-paced brain breezed along wondering how his daughter couldn’t grasp the four different ways he’d come to the same answer. I remember saying, “But that’s not how the teacher showed us,” I needed a straightforward path, step one, step two, step three.
I needed an option that was available whenever I was stuck whether right after school or when I was studying at 11:00 pm. I needed math help that adjusted to my pace, targeted my needs and gave me feedback.
Thankfully, I got through my statistics and upper level accounting classes in college (with a lot of calls home for long distance tutoring and tears). Then I dove into my first job which was glorified accounting – a.k.a. MATH. Working in NYC in the buying offices at Lord & Taylor required lots of math skills and in the real world, I finally got it! I finally felt competent and able to understand why math mattered. I could finally see several avenues to an answer but at what cost?
Growing up I felt tackled by math. I always feeling like something was just beyond my grasp. It was disempowering and maddening. I could’ve used a tool like