Le Sigh

No word back from my professor.

When Sir Raven heard about the homework being eaten by cyberspace, she was characteristically nonplused.  What she said was that if everything wasn’t caught up, I might be able to get help on Saturday, and if it wasn’t done by then I wouldn’t be leaving the apartment even though the book discussion is Sunday.

I imagine this wasn’t meant to be punitive.  It damn sure felt punitive, especially with the lack of seeming upset for me.  Sometimes, she thinks silently listening without responding much (or at all) is beneficial and supportive.  I imagine i’d appreciate some verbal response even if I could see her clearly.  But I can’t and so it is like talking to a piece of impressionist art.  There are times I end up talking more than what I needed to because when I get silence and no touch in return, my assumption is that I didn’t make sense.  Or I will just quit talking because I figure the other person has checked out.  It’s not the best situation when i’m already frustrated.

It isn’t her job to make me feel better.  It’s mine.  I am just not in control of this math situation and it bothers me to recognize that there is realistically only so much I can do.  I am math learning disabled.  It was diagnosed in the fifth grade, when I scored at a second and third year college level on everything but math.  Math was stuck at close to a fifth grade level when I was in high school.  It is nonsensical that I have to think so hard about simple math past adding, subtracting, multiplying, and diving.  Yet…I have memorized formulas and can do algebra.  The problem is…what I was doing was memorizing and it lacked any significant meaning for me.  I had to work my ass off to memorize what formula worked with what kind of problem because it didn’t mean anything to me.  I understand, from living in the Math Lab, that other people do understand why a formula works with a type of problem. 

Some things are definitely related to my lack of sight.  If I can’t touch it or feel it, it doesn’t make any sense to me.  I can’t accurate gauge driving a mile down the road, for example.  It doesn’t really mean anything to me.  I can’t predict anything spatially-related.  I can’t draw three-D objects.  I think I didn’t appreciate how I don’t accurately understand 3D. 

I know at Blockbuster, where they had the pictures of the DVD’s, I couldn’t distinguish the difference between the flat card with the picture of the DVD and which place contained the actual DVDs.  I would stand there, feeling all of them to see if it was a picture of the DVD itself.  My brother would hiss at me to stop that, it was embarrassing to him. 

My brother can do Math.  My mother can do math.  Neither are readers or artists or writers, as I am.  It never made sense to me that I could read music once upon a time, I could play music, and if I could touch a painting I could make something similar.  I took years of ballet.

The thing is that I can’t remember any of it.  I can’t remember how to play anything whatsoever on the piano.  I can’t remember the basic positions of ballet.  These things were hammered into me, practiced for years.  How could it just be gone?

The ballet part, was accomplished through moving my feet into position and using word pictures that went with the steps, so that is how I remembered it.  I matched that to the music and the story.  I memorized the piano pieces as well, which is what I figured everyone did. 

Parts of this are eye sight related.  I focused so much of my life attempting to behave like a person with sight, telling my eyes they had to work, that I never got any type of real help growing up.  No one discussed retinopathy clearly to me until a handful of years ago. 

Math is a reminder of how I am different.  The anxiety that any form of math test generates is really inappropriate for the situation.  My mind will literally just blank out.  It doesn’t matter if I actually know the material or not. 

I have survived Math through pushing myself relentlessly and having big boobs.  i’m not sure that it did much for my Feminist Sense of Self to shamelessly use my tits and a dumb girl persona to flirt my way to a higher grade. 

This entire thing is really making me feel stupid and inadequate.  i mean, yeah, i get that i’m not actually stupid.  i had a great deal of empathy for my gifted kids who would very often be LD in one area.  They often wanted to respond by giving up.  i don’t have that option.  My financial aid and loans and ability to take the last couple of classes on this part of the program all rest on this one class. 

My slave brain tells me to shut and get back to work. 

My inner child is flipping out and is quite irrational and pissed.

i’m exhausted.  i woke up dreaming about my biological father, who i almost never dream about.  i wonder if he is good at math.  He knows what a Kilo is and how to calculate gain time (laugh). 

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2 thoughts on “Le Sigh

  1. sirqsmlb says:

    OK…so once again, this just about breaks my heart and SERIOUSLY PISSES ME OFF! OK, so I’m clearly one of those people who gets math. BUT, I really believe that everyone CAN get math IF – and this is a BIG IF….if it is taught in a way that you can understand. Now, I do understand LD and that it makes teaching math – or any subject – depending on the LD different. BUT if a teacher is worth his/her weight in salt, they will be able to alter their teaching techniques. Math is one of those subjects which is ultimately malleable. You can teach it in terms of sports examples, dance examples, food examples, heck, you can teach it in terms of S/M examples. It is also something that is able to be touched and felt. I saw kids that went through Montessori math and they could SEE it in their minds. The math. Because they could touch and feel the materials that were being used in teaching them, they could manipulate the numbers, see what was happening to make these formulas work…it was amazing.

    I wish you luck and I wish you peace. Seriously, if you get stuck on something, e-mail me.

    Hugs,
    fiona

    (sorry about the soap box)

  2. jadescastle says:

    Fiona,
    Most certainly LD people can learn anything, even from another LD person. I’ve taught math…I just had to refresh myself constantly. I taught the Montessori method and incorporated that into my Math program. Honestly, being able to touch and manipulate real items made math make a lot more sense to me. The depth perception wooden puzzles though? I had to spend a LOT of time memorizing them. I would watch, amazed as babies under age 2 could do them. It is really astounding what children can intuitively understand about math and logic concepts.
    What was the worst class, for me, was when the PE coach was called in to teach college math. He explained everything using football metaphors. I know more about math than I do about football (grins). It was a hot mess.
    I just have to remember what helped before which was not stopping or walking away from the work to do anything but use the bathroom because it is just gone too fast. I had a fantastic tutor, who never laughed when I would suddenly blank out on a simple calculation out of nowhere. I could focus on -3X3 or a learning a formula, but not both at the same time. She was fantastic.
    I wish I was a math person, not because its so hard for me but because I genuinely see the beauty in it.
    Thanks for all of your support. That alone has helped a great deal.

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