There are Math people and there are people who are NOT Math people!

I am not a Math person. This may be the reason for my belief in Math and Non-Math people. If I were good at Math I might think "Oh come on, just apply yourself, its easy." But as a Non-Math person I am totally and completely committed to the belief that I do NOT possess the Math gene.

My brother(s) were/are good at Math, in fact one of them spent some time tutoring in my fourth grade class, and my Mom thought it would be a great idea if he helped me at home as well. Not such a great idea. The thing was, he was a Math person, and I am not! He would explain it and I would hear Mandarin Chinese come out of his mouth. He would walk away and come back and I would still be staring at the "problem" with pencil in hand cringing because I knew he was expecting me to be done with the page. I was usually covered in eraser residue, and my paper thinned almost to a tear where my work was supposed to be. My brother did not have a lot of patience, back then I would cry and feel like he was mean, but I get it, it's hard to teach someone something they simply DON'T GET. He tried, he really did. But in the end it was best that I attempt to do the homework on my own, for my brothers health and my wellbeing.

When you are not good at something it makes you feel less than, especially when you see how easy it comes to others. When you see their papers with the shiny stars on them, or the 100% with a smiley face, and yours is covered in red felt-tipped marker Xs with questions that you think, if I could answer that, don't you think I would have gotten the "problems" correct instead of wrong? Then there's the dreaded question from the popular, blonde Math brainiac "What did you get?" "None of your fucking business!" is what you want to say, but if you do she'll have the whole class trying to get the paper out of your hand, either way you are humiliated, outed as a Math failure!

I knew by having children there was a 50/50 chance they would inherit the non-Math gene. My daughter is currently going through the torture of trying to learn a subject she hears in Mandarin, actually she and I would most likely learn Mandarin much easier than Math!

This was something I dreaded and prayed to the Gods and Goddesses to spare her, and me. How am I supposed to help her as the Math gets more complex, not only that, but it's embarrassing to say to your daughter, "I am not good at Math honey, you'll have to save that for Daddy." As someone who believes girls can do anything boys can do, this totally goes against every fiber of my being to say Daddy can do it, Mommy can't. Also, knowing that he IS the Math person and won't understand her lack of fluency in the subject; knowing the patience for someone who is a Math person, to teach a non-Math person can deplete quickly causes me great anxiety an guilt.

When they are going over "problems" and I am in the other room I am cringing and cursing in my voice. My heart breaks for her and I get angry with my husband. It makes me want to sit him down and tell him to write a three-page essay on giving birth naturally!


  1. I recently read a great book called "Mindset" by Carol Dweck that talks about people's belief in fixed abilities. If you ever get the time, it's a pretty cool read - I enjoyed it as a parent and an artist. I'm thinking of this because Dweck might say you have a fixed mindset about math. :-p The interesting thing is, fixed mindsets can feed our inner critics (thinking about your last post) and prevent us from taking risks. Anyway, it's a quick read. Your blog is awesome. FEARLESS. I love it!


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