Mathochism: Writing concerns

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 test is over.

It wasn’t awful, or filled with surprises. Still, I’ll be happy if I scrape a B. There were three proofs on it, as promised. One indirect, two direct. I did my best with each, but messed up near the end of at least one, and skipped a step on the other. Uchitel promised he will give partial credit on those problems, so I’m hoping for the best.

But I have another concern. My handwriting is not great. Part of that, I confess, is a lack of application on my part as a child, but a bigger part is that my RA has made my fingers less than limber. Writing legibly is therefore always a challenge, but even more so when I have to do it quickly, or in a cramped space. (Why is it that test designers seldom give you enough space?) Proofs, particularly proofs in paragraph form, involve a lot of writing. This test involved A LOT of writing.

Does this mean I could fail simply because Uchitel loses patience with my lousy handwriting? I’m going to have to wait and see. I do have a solution for this, though. I will talk to him and explain the situation, translate as necessary, then ask if I can just have more scratch paper in future. The more space, the bigger I can make my letters, the easier it is to make them clear. I don’t think that is too much to ask. If he balks, I may have to invoke the Americans With Disabilities Act.

I don’t enjoy invoking things, generally. I also don’t want to come across as if I’m asking for special favors, or malingering. But I don’t want my disability to get in the way of success, either — not if there is a simpler solution.

But he seems like a decent guy. Our few personal interactions have been positive. I haven’t whined at him or argued with him. I’ve gone to every class, done my homework, studied. Hopefully, he won’t see “Whitney” as a problem, but a student eager to learn who has an obstacle to overcome.

Eek. We’ll see how it goes.

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

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