Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mrs. Oh, the cat and the rhinoceros

A few days ago....

I informed Tobey that, after spending a good portion of my afternoon at the local community college with the boys, I would really like to go back to school. Again. I can't tell you how many times I have said that.

Then life kicks in and for whatever reason I don't end up going back to school.

Or worse. I convince myself out of going back. My latest argument is the financial benefits just aren't worth it at my age. I calculate how old I am and how long it will take me to graduate. How old I will be then. How long I will have to pay back student loans and how much time I have working at a supposedly higher degree-enriched salary. And it isn't worth the difference.

But to be honest there is and has always been an underlying factor of what holds me back. And her name is Algebra - or as my high school Algebra teacher prounounced it: Alllllgaeyyyy-BRA! I give Algebra the female prounoun of 'her' because Algebra is a b.... hard subject to conquer.

So we are outside just a swingin' and I tell all of Tobey this. The same Tobey who is really good at math. And he says:

What is 987.3X divided by the square root of a hypotenuse of a rhinoceros = 10x.


Say wha??

I could see the problem he asked me. But I can't do it in my head. As soon as I visualized it - the problem disappeared. Then I ran inside (okay, I walked) and wrote the problem down. And it still looked like: 987.3X divided by the square root of a hypotenuse of a rhinoceros = 10x. Now Tobey was still outside and Nappy was in the living room and I did not call out the problem to Nappy and try to have him solve it for me. Nor did I run into the boys bedroom and have Chewie try to solve it once Nappy, our little FBF scholarship recipient failed. Neither one could solve the problem and I felt somewhat better.

Tobey returns and sees the problem I had written out and says I can't solve for it - that he gave me a 'hard one' (ya think?) and that he just made the problem up off the top of his head but here: try to solve for this one instead he says: 18 to the power of 72.4 times 4G minus how many miles it is by bike to Washington D.C. if I went 6 mph with one hand tied behind my back = 4.

Now really folks - I don't like to think that I am an utter idiot. For 7.5 hours a day I do accountanty type work. Plussy. Minusy. Dividey. Timesy. That I can do. Take me shopping and throw me in the middle of a 38.7% off shoe sale and I will properly calculate the sale price of a pair of sling back pumps every.time.

But throw a few letters in with my math problems and I am all fahklumpt.

So I throw my hands up in the air and proclaim how stupid I am. How I can't do this. How this is why I never finished school. And why I never went back. I am a dummy! Idiot!! Stupid!!!

And what did Tobey do?

He pet the cat.



I can do the add, subtract, multiply and divide thing, and even the sales percentages, but forget that other high brow math. I'm not planning on building a bridge or skyscraper.

As one of the growing number of "non-traditional" students, I encourage you to look at it this way:

(All numbers are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only)

So it will take you three years to finish, and by then you'll be 39 (again!). Well, in three years you'll be 39 anyway, whether or not you went back to school.

And you might be surprised about the availability of financial aid for us old farts.

Check into it - what have you got to lose?

(Now I have to go and do my homework!)


Martha - who can't be bothered to log into her google account

Agreed Tee - I once told my math teacher while we were solving for the circumference of a Campbell's soup can that I would never use this stuff in real life - and I haven't!

Martha - I read that as all numbers are wah wa wahhha wah and you are 39! 39! and how great you are still 39! ;)

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