Math and the Oprah Connection

IMG_0750.jpgI wasn’t going to do this post yet.  I was saving this story for a time when nothing would come to me but I guess the universe had other plans.  I’m just going to go ahead and say it – I HATE Math.  I can hear it now.  What? But you use math multiple times a day, every day!! Yeah, I know,  I appreciate that fact and I agree.  I cook pretty much every meal our family eats and I do all the shopping. I guess what I should say is I hate advanced math.

Ever since I had to memorize multiplication facts in Ms. Hughes 3rd grade class, I have hated math. I can memorize a song or lines from a movie or book with ease but ask me what 7 x 4 is and I’m pausing to use a strategy to figure it out. No, it doesn’t involve counting on my fingers thank you very much.  I took the required classes in school and barely passed by the skin of my teeth until Miss Berry’s Algebra class. I hated that woman.  She is/was exactly what your brain conjures up when you think mean old spinster teacher.  She was a tiny little woman with a giant get your hair set with curlers once a week at the beauty shop hairdo.  She wore thick glasses so you could never truly read her expression and had a pinched, sucking on lemons expression. I never saw her smile in all four years of high school.  And, she was OOOLLLLLDDDD.  I mean like played with Noah on the Ark old.  She would brag about how she taught a former Mayor (he was at least 40 or 50 and had been out of political office for years) and Oprah Winfrey.  She must have mentioned Oprah every other week.  It was almost as if she were patting herself on the back for Oprah’s success.  And worst of all, her teaching style sucked.  I never understood a thing she tried to teach us.

So, one particular day she called on me in class to answer a problem.  I was, of course, in the weeds and had no idea what the answer was and I just snapped. I told her, “Miss Berry I don’t know and it doesn’t matter because I’m never going to use this.  I can guarantee you Orpah doesn’t use Algebra either. She has accountants who count her money for her and she’s doing just fine.”  Well, you can imagine how that went over – she looked like I had smacked her in the face with a wet squirrel. She informed me that Oprah was a great student and that Oprah needed math to ensure her accountants weren’t cheating her and that I had earned myself detention.  I wasn’t surprised by the detention. I had earned that detention and it was WORTH IT just to call her out.  I didn’t believe for one second Oprah was using algebra to ensure her accountants weren’t cheating her and I still don’t. I ended up failing that class (no surprise) and barely passing the second time I took it.

I told y’all that story so I could tell you the next story that perfectly describes that meme at the beginning of this post.  God help me, baby girl (5th grade) brought home Pre-Algebra last night.  Sweet Mother of Pearl I nearly had a panic attack when I saw those letters mixed with numbers.  I could see Miss Berry in my mind’s eye glaring back at me. Trying to set a good example, I have never told my kids about my hatred for math. I have told them I’m not as good as their father so please ask him to check your homework.  He wasn’t available last night so I was on deck.  Y’all, it took me twice as long as it did my child to work those problems to double check if she got them right.  I’m happy to report she only missed two.  Then a couple hours later, I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see that meme which was exactly how I felt about those Pre-Algebra problems.  So you see, the universe really wanted me to tell this story.  Now, Oprah, if you ever read this, I love teachers just as much as you do but please level with me wasn’t Miss Berry just the worst??!!  Hand to heaven if Oprah says Miss Berry was fabulous I just don’t think I can look up to her anymore.  I have overlooked pretty much everything Oprah has ever done to piss people off but if she said Miss Berry was a good teacher that would be a total deal breaker for me.  Now excuse me while I go brush up on order of operations rules.

P.S. – I recently found out Miss Berry is alive and well but thank the Lord no longer teaching.

P.P.S. – I liked Geometry and Statistics but don’t tell anyone I said so.




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