Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm not very strong at math.

I'm observant. I'm logical (at times even reaching a level of hyper-logicality that folds back inward upon itself, illogically so). I have more than a passing fascination with technology, design and the science behind many things. I'm a critical thinker.

I can't not watch the Discovery Channel and its many variants on my cable TV lineup.

I could be a really really good research scientist, as long as it was in something that I was really really interested in.

I could be an accomplished designer. One of those all-encompassing kinds of designers who touch upon countless facets of human life --- like Leonardo da Vinci, but with a lot less body hair.

I could be so much more than I am today. Unfortunately, there is precious little quantifiable data on paper to prove it.

This brings me to the subject of math. I hate it. It bores my pants off. I can't remember a time in my life when I actually did NOT feel this way about it --- even as far back as the third grade.

[note: I can remember a few things from second grade, but nothing math-related. First grade memories are just a blur of post-kindergarten, full-day activites, but lasting only like two days, which is weird because I was definitely there for the whole school year --- I'll dig into that matter in a future post. My recollection of kindergarten consists mainly of sleeping on a small, portable carpet, and tying knots instead of proper bows using a set of larger-than-life shoelaces affixed to a pair of cardboard cutouts shaped like sneakers, but absolutely no math in sight. I should also mention that that was in 1975, a time when the American public school education system still mocked its Japanese peers for teaching calculus and quantum physics to all of its kindergarten-aged children. In contrast, seventies-era American public schools placed their daily instructional focus on the finer points of eating paste and nap time. Each day ended with every kid sucking down a sixteen-ounce glass of cherry-flavored Koolaid, followed by a long and bumpy ride home on a bus with no seat belts, no air conditioning, and windows that only opened two inches from the top --- designed thusly out of fear that, on a daily basis, dozens of otherwise well-adjusted children would choose to hurl their bodies out of fully-opened bus windows during the ride home in an attempt to escape the hefty academic demands of kindergarten.]

For me, sitting through math class was like experiencing an appendectomy of the brain without anesthetic. It didn't matter which particular species of math was being served at the time. That had absolutely zero effect on my negative experience. I hated it all, from my earliest recollections of basic arithmetic in the third grade, throughout high school and its many involuntary mathematical delights like algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus (or, for the uninitiated student, there was "Math 11" which, despite its course name, was offered to seniors like me who had already met the absolute minimum requirements in math to receive a New York State Board of Regents diploma, had no interest in further taxing their already stressed bubbleboy brains, but did not want their parents to think they were total retards who couldn't handle some type of math class in their senior year).

I even managed to avoid all forms of math-related course work during my numerous years of full and part-time college enrollment. I am not counting the fifty minutes I spent staring, glaze-eyed, at the syllabus during my first and only day in "Psychological Statistics," realizing that the interesting, attention-commanding curriculum that I had previously experienced in other psychology classes (you know, the psychology classes that actually had something to do with psychology), was definitely NOT going to be repeated during this "math-inspired" one.

This all leads to my point (and thank you for hanging in there, folks). I am not completely unfulfilled by the artistic duties of my chosen profession, and I have managed to accomplish at least a few of the creative ventures set forth in my brain over the years; However, I firmly believe that I could be so much more. I could become a true, modern day renaissance man (err, bubbleboy). One who spends his days offering life-improving design and creative expression to all of humanity through his passion for art and science!

Now I realize what has been holding me back from doing truly amazing things (besides the asthma, allergies, and other items listed in the depository of bubbleboy life --- referenced case-study available upon request). Now I know what has been keeping me from becoming the next Leonardo da Vinci (excessive body hair, notwithstanding).

MATH! Math. Math. MATH!

If I gave a shit about math, my ascension to renaissance-like enlightenment would be complete! I would no longer be just another bubbleboy with a big screen TV and high speed internet. Things would be so different if my eyes didn't frost over and my entire frontal lobe didn't completely shut down at the mere mention of "extra-curricular mathematical education."

With math I could change the world!

And I've recently discovered the one tool that will assuredly uncork the brilliance of my inner-mathdom. I am certain that this will be ALL that's needed to reverse nearly 37 years of pent-up math hatred inside my brain. Nothing can prevent my inspired, creative genius from positively effecting the world now. BRING ON THE MATH!

Now all I have to do is find a frickin' record player and I'll be set.

1 comment:

well then, jenji said...

So, you're saying there was a significant main effect of math upon you. Mainly, F(2, 72)=7.18, p<0.05.>0.05. Thus, there was no evidence of a signifcant rebound effect for any participant groups.

You are always welcome to use my record player, Bubbleboy!