**One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?**

I had my first Algebra test yesterday, the first in almost a quarter of a century.

I don’t know how I did, but I hope I did okay. There were no surprises — some of the problems were even identical to ones I came across in the copious homework.

I tried to be methodical, I gave myself time to go over problems twice.

We shall see tomorrow.

Now, I know I have griped about this repeatedly, but I am really not feeling the love for my classmates.

On test day, one woman didn’t think she needed to bring a pencil, and moaned about it until some Good Samaritan lent her one. The guy behind me, when not grunting and sniffling loudly, kept kicking my chair, which did wonders for my concentration.

We had to turn in our reams of homework on test day, and a number of students didn’t seem to feel it was necessary to staple the assignments beforehand. No, there was supposed to be a magic stapler for their use in class.

Really? Most times, there’s barely any chalk.

One fellow decided to do all the work out of sequence, which necessitated a long explanation about how “this section starts here, then goes to this page, then back to this page…”

And did I mention this long-winded explanation took place while others were taking the test, since we were supposed to turn in homework with the Scantron?

Mr. Kick and Snuffle was also done early, and decided to disrupt everyone’s concentration further by ripping pages out of his notebook.

If I do well on this test, and I hope I do, it will not be thanks to these people.

For years, I thought math was hell. I was wrong. Hell is other math students. Either that, or my journey to crotchety old crone has begun.

*All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.*