Monday, September 5, 2011

School Daze

Greetings, fellow cheese-enthusiasts!! It's a new week, so we're heralding in a new theme:  Back To School!!!

We want to hear your hilarious back-to-school hijinks!  For some inspiration, check out the following post by yours truly, Angela@BeggingTheAnswer.

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I entered elementary school in the 1980’s and "new math" was all the rage. Times tables and memorization were tossed out the window, and arithmetic was taught solely by using little yellow blocks.

See? Math.

I didn’t get the point of those little yellow blocks. Were we  to construct buildings? A small fort, perhaps? Certainly they had nothing to do with numbers. Consequently, after two years worth of math, I didn’t understand basic arithmetic operations.

Mom was dismayed to find we no longer learned times-tables. Her theory was that kids need to know the times-tables - even if they didn’t understand what they meant - so they could quickly recall the facts in “real life” situations. She drilled me with flash cards all summer until I completely mastered the times-tables forwards and backwards.

It worked. From thereon out I was placed in the advanced math track, all because of those flashcards. However, I figured if Mom made me do flash cards all summer to supplement what I should’ve learned in school, I must be really bad at math.
Math was thankfully benign over the next 6 years or so. But then came geometry... trigonometry... precalculus... calculus and things went downhill.

Calculus especially became the bane of my existence. I was too proud to ask for help, but too stupid to know the answers. I was clearly bad at math. Would there be more flashcards?

Later, when I took my college entrance exams, I was somehow deemed qualified to skip pre-calculus and head straight to calculus. Calculus went well for a day and a half, but then they started using pictures.

It's a rainbow tent! Wait, that's math? Oops.

And then they started using big words.

This message was clearly forged by Lucifer himself.

I was in over my head. Once again, I proved to be too stupid to learn math. I studied every single day with the help of a teaching assistant with a thick Bulgarian accent. I ended up with a D.

I was very proud of that D. It meant I didn’t fail. And I never took math again.


It wasn’t until I was 21 that I realized, despite the need for flashcards, I wasn’t bad at math - I was good at math. Or at least competent.

Lesson learned: flashcards are good for math. But bad for self-esteem.

We will destroy your soul.

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Now it's your turn!!! We want to hear your best back-to-school stories.  So link up below, or if you want us to feature your post on our main page, EMAIL  You know you want to!