I've always hated math. The only mathematical thing I do is count money. Anything else, you're asking waaaay too much of me. I can do a few things well. I can write, I can read off of a teleprompter, I can tell you a few great stories, I can cook well, I will give you some amazing fellatio and penis, I can make sound decisions and I can have you feeling like a million dollars when we both know you ain't worth shit (I've dated some crazy people). Math is no where in that equation.
This is my second semester in school. I'm excited, as I love school and it's always been a dream of mine to finish college. Last semester I did okay. I was adjusting to the city and getting my living arrangements and job in order while focusing on myself. All of my life I had to think for everyone else, while I was pushed to the background and belittled for my existence. We're almost done with that...But I'm very grateful to be in school and have the motivation to finish.
Last night as I sat in math class, I felt like committing suicide right there on the spot. I was confused, irritated, bored, addicted to twitter and spaced right out during class. It was right when she threw those alphabets in with the numbers! Where they do that at? I really wish that all math was in word problem form, then I'd be able to interpret it just fine.
As I was doing an assignment in class, my professor started walking around asking if we needed any help and looking over our work. I usually never ask for help for anything, but without hesitation, I asked her, "This is the part that confuses me, writing these conjenctures." She led me through it, but as she stood over me explaining how to write it out in the nicest, mildest way possible, I couldn't help but remember what made me hate math in the first place.
I was my sisters age. I was 8 years old, I was in the 3rd Grade at 36th Street Elementary school in Los Angeles, Ca. My 3rd Grade teacher was Dr. Florida Hyde, room 11. For homework, she gave us this long sheet of paper with division problems on it. We had to complete it, front and back. Back then, I would walk home from school with my friends and we would all walk as fast as possible to get home to catch Power Rangers and Woody Wood Pecker on channel 11. My Grandmother would have some food ready when I got home. After cartoons and eating, I'd go out and play until 6 o'clock when my Mom got home from work.
This particular night when she got home she asked me if I did all of my homework. I responded no and told her that I needed some help with my division. Classically my mother has always been a pure evil asshole when she came home from work - and the line of work that she is in, dealing with the public daily and enforcing rules in the mean streets of Los Angeles, it's understandable. Looking back, I've always have been at the receiving end of her displaced anger and frustration.
As she was helping me her patience got short, because I wasn't catching on fast enough. I ended up being called, a "stupid motherfucker," and was told "next time pay attention in class with your dumb fat ass and stop playing around so much." I believed I was everything she said - and never did math since. How have I got by all this time? Bitch I've passed math successfully with a D, once with a C and a B once, only because in high school I was crafty enough to steal the teachers edition of the math book and passed. :-/
But I've always known why and when I've stopped doing math.
As my professor walked away I almost broke down in class. I could, but couldn't believe that I had been carrying that moment, that block with me for 21 years. 21 years. I'll never forget the way that woman cursed, yelled and screamed because I wasn't catching on quick enough. To me, I wasn't smart enough and I wasn't good enough for my own mother. To this day, part of me still feels that way. But as an adult, I know better. I've been a victim of her and her family's deceptive mind practices long enough.
Once my professor walked off and approved of my work, I was angry. I felt like calling my mother telling her what a spiteful, evil, bitter bitch she was. I know how I really feel about her and I spare her ass every time. If I allow myself to loose control of my mouth and tell her about her - I know that she would kill herself. She would not be able to handle or deal with what I have to say. My mother is a coward, she comes from a line of cowards. She would rather die than accept the truth about what she's done and what she's allowed to happen. She is one of the most irresponsible people I know. This is why I can not deal or accept people talking down or at me. Instead, I called my sister, told her I loved her, asked her how she was and if she ever needed to talk to me I'd be there. In my mind the only way to heal myself of childhood agony is to help my sister. I know what she's going through. I used to be her and in a lot of ways watching her grow up reminds me of things that happened to me and it makes me examine why I do what I do.
When class was over, I told my professor Good Night and I thanked her for helping me. I told her why I've always had a disdain for math. She empathized and she told me "Parents need more patience. But I'll work with you and you'll pass this class." I felt a sense of relief and it was a genuinely nice gesture.
As I got on the train going back home, I closed my eyes, put on my headphones, turned on some Rahsaan Patterson and I cried.