I broke the teacher parent secret code of ethics. I told my child that I have never used long division in my life. I also told her I never used fractions or algebra. Ever. And then I agreed, that in the real world, you can use a calculator any time you want.

I just could not keep up the charade. So I am sorry if my kid tells your kid that real life does not use math, but I know she knows. And I know she knows I know. And really, what is the point of arguing over long division. Not just long division but DOUBLE DIGIT long division.

After a few frustrating minutes of “I hate this” and “I don’t know why I have to do this”, I now know that 2886 divided by 39 is 74. Life changing isn’t it?

Math was my trauma. Between being a mediocre student in every other class, having few friends and certainly not the right clothes, mannerisms or accessories, I did not need to be beaten down anymore. But then came math. Pre-algebra, Algebra, Algebra II. Those classes from 7th -11-th grade involved many tears, a few rages, a few ripped up papers and a book that flew across the dining room.

And if that was not enough, the ultimate humiliation of having to take math 001 in college. I am not sure if you have been to college, or if it has been a while, but all college classes start at the number 100. I took History 101 and Religion 301 and Social Work 240. But not math. Math was 001. I scraped by. Then I graduated to math 100 and really scraped by.

And all this for something I do not use in my life. EVER. Because if I did, I would be on way more meds than I am on now and certainly not be a professional. Math almost made me drop out of college. I should go back, because of math I almost did not GET INTO college.

I would like to think I am a pretty competent person. I am employed, doing important work. I drive and parent and teach and shop and all of this with out long division, fractions or algebra.

So when my child is stressing over homework and looks at me and says, “I am never going to use this in real life” There is really no other answer I can give her. So I say…

In other news, this same daughter just educated me on what “popcorn poop” is. I’ll spare you…

# The jig is up.

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Preach it, Sarah! Your painful mathematical past is a carbon copy of mine, right down to the bits about barely getting into college and being forced to take Math 001. Amen and amen, sister.

I have to think about this. I use math in a lot of ways. More later after I think about it. But I am sorry math has been your “bête noir”. Bj