Mathochism: Homework ennui

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’m having a real problem getting through homework for this new class. Part of it may have to do with the weather. We’ve been having high humidity and temperature, and that tends to send me into lizard mode, where all I want to do is crawl under a rock, careful to draw in my long tail lest it be seen by a predator flying overhead.

Part of it is also that this is all review, and I’m bored with it. I wasn’t bored when we did this again in Algebra II, because I welcomed the review, but it’s boring the third time around. Slope intercept form? Yawn. Rationalizing radical denominators? Arrgh. Multiplying long strings of polynomials? Where’s my coffee? Oh, wait, I can’t do this now, because my socks need alphabetizing!

We are learning some new stuff in-between, but not enough. I know this will change, and very soon, but in the meantime, I’m not enjoying it very much. It’s not mathochism, it’s math-meh-ism.

On top of the ennui, I feel some guilt. I’ve been very fortunate to get an abundance of paid work from my favorite editor lately, and I’ve been very busy tracking down sources and interviewing them. Several stories are due within days, so I’m trying to divide my time between writing and homework. The guilt comes when I use my writer’s block as an excuse to noodle forever over simple problems. Or my work as an excuse to skip over that one annoying equation that I know how to solve, but that takes about 10 minutes to solve and I just don’t have time because I am a v. busy and important writer.

And in the meantime, the bathroom looks like a horde of warthogs splashed through, and the dust is inch-thick, and my spouse of course is happy to help except he is also swamped with work, except his is all paid, not half, and way better paid, since journos are irrational for demanding a living wage in these days of the Wild Internet Frontier. And hopefully this grand experiment of mine can be turned into something lucrative down the line, but at the moment it’s not lucrative in the least.

So there’s the guilt.

Oh well. There’s nothing left to do but push through. Onward, graphs and lines and functions!

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


  • Maybe you need a different project to procrastinate on, so you can get your two actual jobs done?

  • Ha! Sadly, I am a champion procrastinator, and can easily do so on six or more projects.

  • I can relate 100% on the bathroom cleaning as an excuse for procrastination. For me, this has been one of the main perils of working from home. Then again, if we worked in an office, we’d just find something else with which to procrastinate. We might as well have clean bathrooms!

  • That is very true. But as it turns out, my spouse wound up doing most of the cleaning, since he was also writer’s blocked. I do love me some sparkling bathtub!

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