Thursday, February 23, 2006

nothin' but a...what?

L et me ask you some quick questions:
Have you ever wondered if there's more to life than meets the eye?
Do you ever get the feeling that you can't fully explain everything that happens?
Have you ever felt that you're missing direction in your career, or even your love life?
Do you sometimes find you just can't connect with some people, but you don't know why?
Do you ever get the sense that you are trying so hard, but just not getting anywhere?
Have you ever felt like you're fighting bad karma?

If you've ever had the impression that there is some missing element in life that you just can't put your finger on, you're not alone...

That's all from a website about numerology. Apparently Numerology has ALL the answers, and we're being ruled by numbers whether we know it or not. Why did I look up numerology? I'll tell you. I don't know.

Numbers and I go way back. The earliest documented encounter is captured on a cassette tape, April 14th, 1979, making me 2 years and 1 week old. I know this is the date because my mom tells me that it's (my cousin) Josh's birthday, and that Josh is 6. There are conversations on the tape, lots of singing, as well as a featured counting series. The counting is me saying, "1...2...3...sixteen?" That should have been my first clue.

I'm bad with numbers. That's been a mantra for me throughout my life. But since I've now had experience being a successful businesswoman of the nineties (or whatever), it makes me wonder if I'm really ALL that bad with numbers (I figured out how old I was on that tape, right? That took some skill, right?), or if it's just something I was told, so I fulfilled it. And, yes, I DID fulfill it.

Let's visit high school, shall we? In New York State, the math courses are not taught as: first year Algebra, second year Geometry, third year Trig. No, they combine each and label them Course One, Course Two, and so on. Course One contains the beginnings of Algebra, Geometry, etc., and Course Two moves one level up from that - you get the drift. At the end of my senior year, I sat at a desk in the gym to take my math final - my Course One math final. Not so bad, except guess who was sitting to my right: my sister, a freshman. Guess who was sitting to my left: my brother, an eighth-grader. Yes, we had all taken the same math course that year.

Forward a couple of years to UVSC. Now, I know that college courses are labeled differently these days, but for the week that I attended college, we had 101, 102, and so on. The entry level math course was Math 101. If you needed prep for that class you could take Math 99. I was in Math 95. Math 95 included working up to a test with 100 problems which had to be completed in 5 minutes. Where had I heard that before? ...oh yes, we did that in 4th grade so that we could earn the chance to go to the roller skating party at the end of the year. (That's roller skating and pizza.)

These days, I check in daily with NieNie to see what she has in store - kids, cute house, husband, Manhattan, goose, oranges. Today, her post is titled 4. As in, the number of kids she will have in her household by the end of this year, as per her latest pregnancy test. That got me thinking about some numbers that I've dealt with:

Number of times I've been pregnant: 5
Number of kids I have to show for it: 3

See? I've always been bad with numbers.

Is it possible to change my destiny? Can I stop the cycle and make sure my kids are proficient in their mathematical skills? And what of this numerology? Is there anything to it? Are numbers ruling my life and I don't even know it? (I'm sure I can find all this out on that website for the low-low price of something-or-other.)

Li'l ~j. has math homework almost everyday and I haven't told her that I'm bad at math, because I'm trying to convince myself otherwise. I worry that if she thinks that I'm bad at math, she'll convince herself that she is, too, and not try to learn. She's always done very well with math. This morning, as li'l ~j. was getting ready for school, her friend Elizabeth was at our house and was trying to pass along some 4th grade math skills. When I walked by, Elizabeth was saying, " the square root is ten." Li'l ~j. replied, "Oh. You mean, like...times...minus?" Elizabeth said, "Um...sort of..."

I say, yes, yes, li'l ~j., it IS times-minus. Math's NOT hard.

(Let's go to the mall.)


MOM said...

Hey! Like you said in your last blog "...well, she's smarter than her mom, anyway."
Now, coming from YOUR mom. You have plenty of math skills. Most of what is learned in higher math isn't used by most people. The kind of things I use math for (and I am good with numbers) include figuring medication dosages and IV flo rates- which is basic multiplication and division. How many rolls of wall paper does it take to cover a room, and does that change if it has a 2" drop or a 12"drop to match. 3tsp to a Tblsp, & all that recipe stuff. I only worry about geometry if I happen to be playing pool --that is rare. You can balance a checkbook (I can too but choose not to), figure gas mileage, pay tithe, know if you have lost or gained weight, read a thermometer, tell time, know if you're speeding, the age of your children, and how long yu've been married. You can use a telephone, address a letter, schedule things on a calendar, easily switch channels on a TV or stations on a radio. You can be an independent business woman. What more could a girl need numbers for?

AzĂșcar said...

I was so insecure about my numbers issues I made sure to improve my gene pool by bringing in Mr. Math.

I've discovered that I'm not bad at math, I just had bad teachers (you mean Coach Chamberlin wasn't the best math teacher?)

I'm turning 30 on the 30th this year, that's got to mean something in numerology? Doesn't it?

Sue said...

Elizabeth's mom says that she has always been horrible at math and Elizabeth is smoking her... so not all math disfunction is hereditary. Run with it Rae!

Anonymous said...

Hey, numbers help you know how many days you are late! :-)

compulsive writer said...

I totally love it that your mom reads your blog. And I agree with her, especially about balancing the checkbook. Just because I choose not to balance it doesn't mean I don't have skills.

The other day my daughter was trying to convince me that, at the tender age of a fifth grader, she has had enough math for the rest of her life. I'm going to let her read your mom's comment. (After I go have a chat with her math teacher for humiliating her yesterday in front of the whole class. He said to her--and I'm not making this up--"I always thought there was no such thing as a dumb question...until now.")

~j. said...

Oh my gosh. He SAID that to her? Yeah, fifth graders don't have enough to worry about, they also need to be humiliated in front of their peers by a teacher - FOR ASKING A QUESTION. Please keep us posted with what happens with that.

cabesh said...

I'm okay with math--but I didn't realize that until I didn't have to take it anymore. Sure, I can't take a derivative like my hubby, but I'm the one that pays the bills, balances the checkbook, and plans our retirement. Why? I'm pragmatic, he's a dreamer.

I'm a fan of even numbers--always have been. I chose to have c-section #2 a day later so that the baby would come on an even day. Does that make me a freak, or am I in tune with my life numbers?:)