Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Math rant

Would somebody please give me a reasonable explanation of why I am doing these:

in math?
Will I ever use them? (A clue, no)
So why do I need to do them?
No doubt someone out there is thinking the logical answer: "To get through highschool, of course."
That's not reasonable enough for me.
If I am never going to use simplifying square roots, if I am never going to use a(2a+b), if I am NEVER going to become a mathematician, why in the universe do I need to waste my time on this stuff??
Why do I need to know stuff that I really don't need to know just to get through school so that I can go to college, get a well-paying job, save money, retire, and then do the things that I enjoy?
That isn't and has never been my ambition! It's my ambition to work in the church, write and read books, and have a big brood of kids if that's God's plan.
Why should I spend my time trying to understand things that I will never use in life just to pass the judgement of the secular norm with good results? Wouldn't it be much better if I learned to hone and use my God-given talents which will eventually become my career/life? Shouldn't I love learning instead of loathe it?
Imagine how much more kids would love learning if we let them learn what they loved. Kids are surprisingly smart if you let them be.
Look at Mozart! He didn't go to school. He picked up his father's violin when he was four and never needed any lessons. He went on tour when he was six and wrote his first opera when he was 11. Admittedly, he died young and poor, but now he's one of the most celebrated and most listened to composers in the whole world!
Abraham Lincoln. He grew up in a log cabin. His family were very, very poor and he didn't go to school. Instead he read and read and read by firelight at night. Sure his lawyer firm failed, but then he became one of America's most influential and most recognized presidents!

I don't understand math. I never will. That equation up there about simplifying roots... that doesn't make any sense to me. I have NO idea why it works. But I memorize the formula so that I can get the right answer.

I'm getting a solid A- in math right now (or a B+, I'm not sure). That's good. Amazing actually, because I'm as stupid as a fish trying to climb a tree when it comes to anything more complicated than addition/subtraction/multiplication/division.
But is it worth it? Lately I have been getting so frustrated and angry during math that I scare myself. I always end up snapping at my mom who patiently helps me through math, and I hurt her feelings. I don't want to do it, but the anger just boils inside of me. I don't like hurting my mom's feelings. Because that just makes me all the more angry and sad. But I don't know how to control the anger... either it comes out in hurtful tones of voice or... I don't know. I've never let that side come out. But let me tell you, it feels something akin to this:

It makes me want to turn into a big green rage monster and go punch a hole through the wall. Or tear my hair out... or bite my fingers... or hurt myself or the house in some other way.

After my math lesson today I've been listening to this to calm myself down (because if my life was a piece of music after math, it would probably be this... or Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March or the Queen of the Night Aria from the Magic Flute):

Also, tears are usually involved during math time because I can't understand something, or even though I got the answer right I got the answer wrong, therefore making my answer wrong... and me having to do the incredibly long complex hard problem over again.
And don't even get my started on word problems...

One thing I love about homeschooling is the freedom to do things at your own speed. I don't understand something, we can spend more time on it, or come back to it later. We did this with addition and subtraction. I did not understand it. At all. I couldn't grasp the concepts. So we waited a few months. When we started it up again, I understood it and was able to get through it.
If I was in school, I would have been forced to continue doing it without understanding, and probably would have gotten horrible grades (and there would have been many, many more tears... and I would have probably ended up hating learning as a result).
Some homeschoolers abuse this privilege and use it as an excuse to forgo doing schoolwork (aka being lazy. I don't condone laziness). I think that's what people (in the real world) would assume if I told them what grade of math I'm in.
Since this isn't the real world, I have no problem shouting to everyone:


So, world, stop judging me for something I'm not.


  1. Hello, Abby, this isn't Kendra, this is Kendra's character, Maryanne, who has decided to steal her author's internet to make this comment because Kendra likes math and doesn't understand.

    Math is hard. Very hard, and whatever Cousin Doranna or Kendra say, there is no use for it. You don't even need to know how to count to get through life.

    Here, have some cake.

    1. Thank you for the cake Maryanne. =) You don't know how much your comment means to me. Sometimes cake and someone to say "I understand" are the best remedy.

  2. Greetings Abbey!
    I understand you sentiments completely! I've been studying for my GED and doing okay in most subjects- except for math. I can figure out most the problems that I am familiar with, but then they slap me with some incomprehensible conglomeration of numbers, symbols and letters that if calculated properly will make a wavy line on a graph.
    Yeah, those scare me. I don't even have a clue to know where to start, nor do I know how I will use this in my future… All that to say, "You are not alone." : ) guess the quote?
    But it's great that you and your mom work together to understand your lessons, and believe me- you are not the only one to turn in to Hulk during math, but you handle it a lot better than I used to!
    Patience and practice!
    ( If it helps at all, chances are you won't use a lot of the advanced math and won't see it again until you homeschool you own kids through high-school. But then you'll have the answers! ) :)

    1. Oh dear, that sounds difficult! I wish you all the luck in the world.
      I'm adding on to my above comment... Sometimes cake, someone to say "I understand," and a Doctor Who quote are the best remedy.
      *sigh* I hope I marry a mathematician so that he can do that part of the homeschooling!
      Thank you for your comment. =) It's encouraging.

  3. Wow, that post echoed me and everything that happens to me when I do math! I, too, snap at my mother and do not talk to her nicely. I also do not understand why I must learn equations that I will never use again. But we must persevere and get through this. I can't wait to be done learning math!!!!
    Love, ShiningHisLight97

    1. I agree with you 100%!! Here's to perseverance *raises glass*
      Love ya TMG. Thanks for the comment, you always brighten my day. =)

    2. *raises glass* Cheers!
      I'm glad. :)

  4. Dear Abbey, Someday you will understand, I hope, that working out math does develop part of your brain!
    Keep trying, and don't give up. Your mind is capable of doing sooo much.... and I thank God for that.
    From a Grama who understands you. Maybe you need Grampa for a tutor! He taught you mom in school!

  5. I have hated math too. I kinda still do. But recently I've been finding really interesting parallels between writing and math problems. You see, writing a story is like working out a math problem to see if it works.
    And those kinds of problems are easy. You can get it, I know it.

  6. Yes to all of this. I understand every bit of it. I spent all of Math in tears and snappish. I failed Algebra, BARELY passed pre, and then failed it in collage. Now I am passing by the tip of my nose. None of it makes sense to me, and like you said, when I finally understand something I still get the wrong answer. Then you get those who are brilliant at Math, or at least understand it, and get upset when you don't. I had a teacher think I was not trying because I was failing, and others who just rolled their eyes at me. (One teacher said I could do Math and I almost cried on her because no one has ever told me with so much convinction that I know how to do Math.)
    It is hard. Some people just don't get it. And if they don't get it then there is something wrong with them. I've been snapped at and told to try harder so many times. But when I talked to others about writing they will say things like, "Oh, I could never write a book, I just don't get it." And that is all right. But not with Math. One HAS to be good at Math even if their brain isn't wired for it. And it is hard, so hard, getting rebuked for something one struggles with and attempts. And even if we learn how to pass the test, it ins't as if we remember it or use it. We've spent all that time and energy learning how to get enough right answers to get it over with.
    And I should have some grand, helpful advice, but I am afraid I don't. Because I am in that place, right now. THOUGH I did find some videos on youtube and a couple explained it in a way where I was able to get the right answer most of the time. Maybe you could try that, and listen to music while you work? I've found that helps me, makes me all relaxed.

    And, to answer your comment.
    Eh, I know. i was so happy because I'd be ending a book nicely after Abolished. It had a happy ending, and then they snatched it off and laughed at me. I think it might have been the fathers, a bit of revenge for not bringing them back to life like I did in the rough draft.

    You sing Mr. Rodgers theme song, that makes me happy 8-D My dad used to sing that but he hasn't for ages.

    Oh! You shoudl sneak in a Allons-y, Alonzo! Even if it is Let's Go, Alonzo, it is too perfect to pass up! 8-D I have French in...well, you know, Haphazard, so I am going to out an Allons-y in.

  7. Ah, Algebra I…I actually have an answer as to why you need to know how to simplify square roots. (I'm the kid in my Math class who's question is always 'Why? How does this apply in my life?'. Sadly, the answer is often "Well, if you pursue x or y careers…") When you work in measuring and in functions (something that does, in fact, have more life-applications than what you're working with now), you want things to be in the simplest terms possible, and by simplifying square roots, you make the multiplication MUCH easier. That's the magic of factors! (Ugh, I can't believe I actually said that…Sorry. My sister's math geekness rubs off on me a bit.)

    I totally understand your frustration. I'm studying trig and precalc right now, and a lot of it doesn't seem to have any purpose outside of preparing me for Calc AB, which is still two years away.

    In the meantime, I definitely support your decision to listen to songs from The Magic Flute.