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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Solve for X or How I Flunked Algebra - twice!

Arithmetic, math, whatever the newest term is, has been one of the sorrows of my life.  From the time I was little math made it's business each day to see how crazed I could become while enduring math time, math class, math anything.  (The word 'enduring' is not an exaggeration. It was torture. Every day.)

Now, of course, many many years later, I realize that I have some degree of dyscalcula. Numbers and I still loathe each other.

Which brings me to the letter X.

How I got into Algebra I - I haven't a clue.  I think the last teacher just got tired of seeing my tear stained face and sent me to the big leagues just to get rid of me..  Math with letters.  Umm...wait a minute....math (that's numbers right?).so when did the alphabet decide to join in.  What fresh hell was this??

My precious letters, my alphabet, my word makers - had they forsaken me?  Me who got a big fat ZERO in most of my math work throughout school,  could read and write at the high school level in third grade. (Although I have to admit, there was a major abscence of any numbers in my stories.)

So, I sat down in this Algebra I class on the first day.  I went with a heavy heart but determined to try.
I had my notebook, I had my pencils, my erasers  - a whole pack, in fact).  I was ready. I was willing. I was screwed. 

There on the black board was the equation:

 a(2) x 15 + 27B - X = 33         

Solve for X.

Up went my hand.  May I have the restroom pass please?  (Since the teacher gave me the pass, with less than 5 minutes into the first day of the school year, I assume the old teacher had clued the new one in on my ongoing love affair with numbers.)

Out the door, down the staircase and through the hallway I went. And suddenly, I got a little spring in my step.  I realized I may not know what the heck the number X looks like but I certainly knew where
"X marks the spot"  - to the girls' bathroom.

Today, numbers continue to mock me, but so what? I don't remember one thing from that algebra class - BUT I can still tell you where every girls' bathroom was in Bryant High School!

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We are almost through the alphabet and will be starting a new round soon.  So, why not give it a whirl and click on the link to the right to join in the fun of Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jen Matlock. 


  1. Hi Ms. B&B ~~ I truly am sorry about you having all that trouble with algebra and numbers. I too have a degree of dislexia.

    Working math problems doesn't seem to bother me but I do put my numbers in the wrong order. I had trouble with second semester chemistry in college (in high school we mostly developed film and did litmus tests and simple stuff).

    To go on I needed a "C" or higher but I got a "D" so I had to repeat. The second time I was flunked by my different teacher, the head of the chemistry department. Finally eleven years later at a community college I passed it.

    I do have a Math minor in college. Advanced Algebra was my flunk out course that I dropped and where I stopped. That came right after Differential Equations.

  2. I'm right with with you on this!

  3. Great post for X ~ I didn't much enjoy Algebra either ~ ^_^

  4. Math made sense to me and I remember deciphering the lessons for my best friends because our Algebra teacher had no clue how to teach it...but she was well liked and enthusiastic! I still like all sorts of puzzles. My X effort: http://lmkazmierczak.blogspot.com/2013/05/exclamations.html

  5. I feel your pain -- math was awful but algebra was beyond me! My older brother sat with me for hours trying to make me understand. Didn't do a bit of good!

  6. Math and I have a very touch relationship. Not as bad as yours, I think, but very uncomfortable...

  7. Three unknowns - good luck solving for X!

  8. Algebra still haunts me as I help my kids with their homework. Although it makes more sense than geometry! Ha!

  9. HA! This is so funny. I hate math. Flunked geometry three times. Algebra made some sense, but I would rather be writing, riding horses, or reading anything...even a Latin book. Great post.

  10. I loved math, but hated word problems. Now, I hope to help my grandchildren delight in math by making it visual. You'll never think of a banana the same way again once you discover it can show you what pi looks like.

  11. Boy does this take me back.. and not in a good way. I did OK until I got into Algebra..and I went downhill in a hurry. Not the best teacher didn't help, and my older brother had left for college so now tutor at home. Luckily.. my teacher who "should" have flunked me gave me a D- so I could "pass". Except for business math, I never took another math class in high school!!!!! Guess what? Whatever math I've needed.. it's never been algebra!

  12. I loved algebra, but I'm pretty sure I had economics-yxia! :)

  13. Hi!

    I don't know if I can actually write a comment here because I'm pretty much hyperventilating from that <> equation in your post.



    I failed it three times. My teacher used to scream at me almost daily, "Can you possibly be this stupid?"

    Apparently so.

    He finally passed me just to get rid of me.

    The odd thing is I can add and subtract long sums of numbers in my head.

    And really.

    I'm not stupid.



    Okay, I gotta go.

    I think I need to call my therapist about this.


    Just kidding on the therapist...true story on everything else.

    This was an Xcellent link!

    Perhaps we are twins separated at birth?