A 32 Year Old Attempts Middle School Math

Last week, I decided to start taking math classes through a free online learning course. You ever make a decision as an adult that you know your teenage self would have laughed at you for? Yeah.

I can hardly over-estimate the agonies math caused me in high school. I failed my math classes three years in a row, to the point that my guidance counselor wrote me off as not expected to graduate. I did graduate, and on time, but technically I was never promoted to the 12th grade, which created a lot of amusing confusion for my teachers.

My problems in math (and to a slightly lesser degree, science) had less to do with the subject itself and more to do with the fact that I just wasn’t very good at being a student. I’d gone to Christian schools from kindergarten to eighth grade, where I made straight A’s and B’s with essentially zero effort, but when I transferred to a public high school in 9th grade I discovered that I was about two years behind grade level in every subject. Thanks to the paltriness of my education, I had never developed the kind of study habits that might have helped me get caught up, and both my teachers and parents were oblivious to what was happening, so no one made any accommodation for me. This, plus the fact that I was dealing with serious problems at home that left me little energy to worry about school, insured that I was always an indifferent student, at least until my senior year when I realized that I was in danger of not getting into college.

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