by KATE HUNTER
This morning, I was writing out my kids’ tuckshop bags and called out to my nine year old, ‘Annabel, what’s $2.30 plus $3.80?’ My tone was that of an engaged parent, trying to incorporate simple arithmetic into everyday life.
My husband knew the truth, ‘You don’t know, do you?’
Just in the nick of time, Annabel called out, ‘Six dollars ten.’
‘Exactly right, well done! Six dollars ten.’
My accountant husband set off for work, amazed that someone like me ever got as far as high school.
And yet, I did. Hating maths every step of the way.
Now, hate is a strong word and I discourage my children from using it. But I hate maths with a passion and if it were possible to commit hate crime against algebra, I would do so.
Why do I hate it so much? Was I taught badly? Was I lazy? Is it just the way I’m made? I don’t know, but I’m deeply resentful of the time I spent doing maths when I could have been reading books; or preparing my history assignment; or arguing with Sister Maree about the existence of God. ANYTHING but understanding Pi. Surely that was what Sister Maree’s God invented calculators for.
It’s hard, sometimes, being a writer married to an accountant. For him, numbers make sense. They speak a language that’s clear – unambiguous – exactly what I can’t stand. It’s why I switched off in maths pretty much after I learned to count to ten. I’m good at that, check it out – I’ve used those skills to list the reasons I hate the subject.
1. With maths, you’re either right or you’re wrong. You can’t argue your way out of an incorrect answer. This is something I rely upon to get through life.
2. Numbers cannot make you laugh. Unless you put 58008 into a calculator and turn it upside down to make ‘BOOBS’.