Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Math Whiz, Not


My personal strength is visual acumen. I can remember faces and images. I score high on those kinds of equations. As long as it doesn't involve numbers. I had to take the CBEST test and failed the SIMPLE math portion. SIMPLE...yes? I scored @ 60%, so I got a math tutor studying for her (she, not he—very important) PhD. She was fascinated by how I solved the problems. She said I was bored with simple math, but had somehow taught myself algebra & geometry—that my reasoning was sound. But I did odd things like add figures in the subtraction columns, I flipped numbers (6/9, and 4/7), etc., a classic case of dyslexia. But I passed the blasted test. Tears were involved. And the spectre of Coach Harry Roche lobbing chalk and erasers at Johnny Kaufman and Mike Frank, didn't boost morale, of course. My grandfather had an eidetic memory. He could speed-read any book and had perfect recall. I have it too, but only partial recall. However, when it comes to math, I reverse numbers....and get all jumbled up. No matter that I've been clocked with an IQ of 138-40, math is my Achilles heel. And I have math whizzes on both sides of the family. The gene's there, but it's all damseled about. Even the late, great Olympic runner Archie Williams who broke track records with Jesse Owens, couldn't teach me a lick of math. And my mother's cousin was a mathematician on the Manhattan Project. So it runs in the family. It just ran away with me. Or more like from me.

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