Mathochism: Not a great start

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

The spring semester started this week, and I had my first Algebra II class last night.

All I can say about it so far is “Meh.”

I was excited about this class at first, but that excitement dissipated when I got a letter from the college last month telling me the dapper professor’s section had been cancelled. Dammit, dammit, dammit! I hope the reason was that he got a better job, but selfishly, I really wish that hadn’t happened.

Still, I felt lucky to get a spot in another section, since math classes are still scarce. But once I got to the classroom (in another building, without an elevator, with my knee misbehaving), it was stuffy. I got a desk next to a Jersey Shore-looking dude who texted non-stop.

The professor was late, and when he finally got to class, he spent the next two hours ranting at us about the lottery, credit card rates and car insurance.

Nope, no algebra.

His excuse? “I don’t like to get intense in the first class.”

He also made it clear teaching the class bored him, that he understood if we found it boring and that he planned to slip in plenty of “life lessons” with the xs and ys. The man looks to be in his mid-30s. To be brutal, I have no interest in being lectured on life by someone who was likely in middle school while I was in college.

I know my life lessons. Let’s focus on some polynomials, all right?

But I will give him a chance. Maybe when he finally gets around to teaching, he will redeem himself. I hope so. The dour professor was no charmer, but at least he taught. And if it bored him, he didn’t show it. Now there’s a life lesson.

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


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