Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Risky Business

Just received my grade for the Project Risk Management class I took a month ago. I was a bit apprehensive about the grade since I thought I had blown the final, but alas, I did fine. Actually, I did better than fine, I did quite nicely, and I got an A+ for the entire course! I seriously thought I would fail the class because a lot of determining risk in Project Management is using algebraic equations. Who knew? Well, for as long as I can remember, I have had this, um, shaky relationship with math. When I was in elementary school, Jr High, and High school, I was always in remedial math courses. And one thing I learned about being in remedial math courses throughout my education is that remedial math seems to be taught by remedial teachers!
There was one incident I can recall when I was a sophomore in high school. I remember sitting in my class, the teacher was explaining a formula. I raised my hand to ask a question because I was not "getting" the formula. When I asked the question, the teacher tried to explain the formula again. When he was done I tried to, by way of understanding, explain back what I thought was the steps one takes to solve this particular problem. It seems I had gotten the process all wrong and the teacher yelled "no," he then hit the chalk board with the palm of his hand and said, "how can you not understand this simple equation?!" We locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity, when I slowly got up from my desk, gathered my books, left the classroom and walked home. The next day the teacher apologized for his outburst and offered any help he could after class. But it was too late. The damage had been done. From that moment on, I essentially shut down anytime mathematical equations were brought up in any context. Because I had been so embarrassed by what had happened that day, I ditched his class many, many times. So many times, if fact, I was called into the Vice Principles office because of all the absences I had accumulated even though I always had a note from my "mother", stating why I was missing so may classes; braces, dentist, etc. It was my sister that wrote all the notes excusing my absences from first period math (a fact she reminded me of two years later during high school gradation when she wrote in my yearbook, "I'm glad you graduated especially since you had such a difficult time with your braces during your sophomore year.") After sophomore year was over, I seemed to be assigned to progressively worse teachers. One math teacher was a guidance counselor and had never taught math and was only brought on because the district didn't have the money to hire another teacher. Another was clearly an alcoholic that probably shouldn't have driven a car to school the majority of the time.
Anyway, that's why I was so worried about the grade in Risk Management, but it seems my math phobia did not affect me the way it usually does, so, YaY!! Maybe I'm over my phobia when it comes to math? Basically, for me anyway, getting through that class with the math used, is quite the accomplishment.



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