Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Math has never been my strong suite. Any time I think about it, I get a little sick to my stomach! It's true...I really do. I remember being in Mrs. Clark's math class during my 8th grade year. I thought that year was for sure the year that I would finally 'get it,' because she was an AWESOME math teacher.

One night, I had a dream where I was in Mrs. Clark's class and I was really sick. She was standing up at the chalkboard and working out some kind of equation. My stomach was aching. It was as if she could read my mind, because the next thing she said was: OK kids, let's find out why Lindsey is sick. X + Y = the reason Lindsey is sick. The next thing I know, I wake with a start, run to the bathroom and throw up!! I will never forget the dream, which may be why I feel sick every time I do math.

Well, ladies and gentleman, I would like to present: A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH.

Over the past couple months, I have been studying for the GRE. The book tells me that the test has 14 quantitative questions and 14 other questions all related to math. However, there are at least 6 chapters in the book (about 12-13 pages each) that go over different tactics to figuring out these math questions. I started studying in May and actually got a tutor...who was very good. She taught 7th graders and was very patient with me as I struggled through these problems.

The first couple times, I had to re-learn all of the formulas that since high school, I had not even thought about. The area of a circle, triangle, square, etc. Perimeter, angles, shaded regions, word problems, measurements....everything. I was so frustrated that I couldn't remember anything that I was taught throughout high school! So, the tutor came once a week and we worked on problems for about 3-4 hours. I was starting to pick up on it, but at the end of the 'session' I ended up being more frustrated because I thought, "Well, that's great...but who's to say that I will know which formulas to use during which problems?" I felt completely lost.

When my dad came to visit, I sat down with him to go over some problems. What he said made sense, and I was starting to understand, but when I tried to do the problem by myself, I couldn't get it!! I was so UPSET. It just comes so easily for other people.

I also forgot to mention that one of my other friends sat down to help me with some problems....and boy was that a disaster. She did all the work in her head, where I am one that has to write everything out in order for it to make sense. So, that didn't work at all and I ended up crying!

Last night though...I mean WOW! My friend Ben came over to help me. One thing you need to know about Ben...he is amazing when it comes to understanding where I am at in this process. We have a very similar way of thinking about how to solve problems (both in math and in life, I might add). We sat down and started working on the same problems that I worked on with all three of my tutors.

About an hour later something clicked and I could have cried. I finally got it! This isn't to say that I am perfect at math....I still need to practice....but I finally understood how to do one specific problem that I had been struggling with since May! I was so grateful for Ben....he was able to get through the cloud that seems to take over my brain when I study math...and totally have it make sense for me! I don't know how he did it...but the fact is that he did....and I am so grateful and humbled!

So now I can find shaded areas within certain regions. Onto story problems!! BRING IT ON!

Thank you Ben.

1 comment:

V.I.C.K.I. said...

Oh I have no use for algebra or geometry at all. AT ALL.