Observations About My Math Skills

I went into the Algebra and Trigonometry 1 class with the opinion that I will probably barely scrape through with a C and would’ve been over the moon to get a B. But now that I know I’m doing well, suddenly, anything less than an A is unacceptable to me.

I guess this is what happens when the perception of our own skills and abilities shift. I went into the math class thinking that I am going to struggle really hard and that I won’t have a good time at all. I told myself in the beginning – even before the first class – that if I get a C and higher, I’d be overjoyed because I didn’t think I could even get to that point!

Now, after getting some really decent grades (and collecting 33.5 points of extra credit), I am suddenly dreading not getting an A in the end. I think I truly will be disappointed if I didn’t – although at the same time, I need to remind myself that anything more than a C would still be an achievement for someone like me who not only has ADHD which brings about difficulty for me in doing tests and paying attention in class, but also hasn’t done math in 10 years and have never been any good at math even in high school.

I’m almost finished with my first semester of school and the experience has been both humbling and also encouraging. Humbling because I’ve learned so many new things that I never would even dream of learning and encouraging because it shows me that I can do anything I put my mind to – even math, the subject I’ve always dreaded. At the same time, it also taught me that what others say about you is only true if you believe it too. I no longer believe that “I’m bad at math” but rather that if someone has the patience to teach me, I can learn it and I can be good at it.

The only thing I can’t fix is this strange problem I have when it comes to math that prohibits me from achieving full marks in anything – I have a problem with negatives and positives and often I would reverse the signs, which causes me to lose points. I also seem to always switch or reverse things around. For example, recently, in a quiz, I had written the question “5 = x +3” as “3 = x +5” – which is a VERY silly mistake to do which lost me some points. It’s like I have dyslexia when it comes to mathematical symbols…

In any case, my finals will be on May 1 (the same day Avengers is released! Whoo!) so I can only hope that I’ll be able to do my very best and give it my all. From what I’ve been doing so far, I’m pretty sure I’m in the top 10% of the class at least and I’m very happy about that!


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