Taking Back Tuesday #7: Mastering Middle School Math

It’s Tuesday, Readers, and I’m taking back Humpday Eve by doing something reeeeeeeaaaaally wild and crazy…I’m studying basic math.

A few months back I took the first step toward enrolling in a PhD program by registering for the GRE exam.  Step number two has proved to be far more difficult in that now I actually have to study for the test which is rapidly approaching in two weeks. (Hello, May.  Where the hell did you go?)

I’ll be honest, I’m a complete, neurotic nerd when it comes to studying, grades, tests, papers, etc.; so I’ve been hitting the GRE study guides on a semi-regular basis for the past six weeks.  I have vocabulary flash cards literally stashed in every orifice of my being, because anytime is a good time for learning 🙂


That being said, I’ll also have to admit that I have only been studying for the verbal portions of the exam; well, because I’m good at the verbal.  Math is a whole different story.  I haven’t taken a math course in at least a decade.  Needless to say, I’m a bit rusty.

When I say rusty, I mean:

-I’m that checkout girl who has to close down her register when the computer goes down.  How could I make change

-I use my fingers under the table when doing basic arithmetic so that I won’t embarrass myself.

-I know how much a new outfit at Macy’s costs when the sale is 50% off, but take another 30% off…thank God for those strategically placed, price check scanners.

-If someone asked me what time a train leaving Pittsburgh at 9:42 A.M., travelling westbound to Chicago at a rate of 62 mph would arrive in the Windy City?   I’d have to take a flight instead.

That bad.

That rusty.

That pathetic.

Today on Taking Back Tuesday I’m going to make my math teachers of yesteryear proud.  I’m going on YouTube to download every basic math concept the Khan Academy is willing to teach a math idiot like myself.

And what they can’t teach me…I’m calling my seven-year-old nephew William.  He can math circles around my sorry self, right from the front row of the first grade.



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