Why I can’t do math

3 June 2004 at 08:10 Leave a comment

There was a time I was pretty good at math, though always better at word problems than at strict number crunching.  I always had a hard time with 6’s and 8’s (I mix them up and cannot add, subtract or multiply with them without using my fingers). Don’t really get that 6/8 problem. But, ultimately, I think my problem with math is my imagination. It gets in the way.

You see, 1 is an adult male. A kind of loner, but friendly enough. He probably likes to fish. 2 is a fussy woman with sharp features and a sharp tongue. She wears dresses and high heels. 3 is a girl, kind of spacey, kind of lazy. 4 is a boy wearing jeans who always has stuff in his pockets. 5 is a tomboy and very active who likes to laugh, but is a bit mean. 6 is an annoying, pretty girl that all the teachers love but the other kids hate. 7 is a teenage boy, kind of a jock, popular but not stupid. 8 is an adult woman with a full figure, a stay-at-home mom. She worries a lot. 9 is a working woman, busy and important.

All other numbers (32, 101, 56, etc.) have personalities and characteristics of their own, though their gender is always keyed to their final ‘digit’. All numbers that end in “5” are girls, all numbers that end in “1” are boys, etc.

And for some reason they are all always hanging out in the art classroom of my youth.

None of that is conducive to mathematics.

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Entry filed under: huh.

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T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.

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