Walking the dog this morning, I was musing over why I struggle so with maths. I can do the basic arithmetic stuff – work out how much carpet I need, work out how much an item is per gram or whatever in the supermarket, but given my overall poor mark on one module (which was expected), I clearly struggle with anything more advanced.
I must have missed out on some important points of understanding along the way, and enough blocks from the maths wall are missing to make it almost impossible to add to the top any more.
When did this happen? Well, I remember when I was 12, and living abroad, finishing the most advanced maths text book the school had (one of the ones with answers in the back) and, as it was near the end of the school year anyway, being told to just start at the beginning and work my way through again. The thing is, I skipped over most of the things I didn’t understand the first time around, and there was no-one who was prepared to explain things to me in any event, so I just cruised through, and obviously missed some important learning points.
Wen we came back to the UK in June 1976, and I started secondary school in September, I was in the second set for maths.I can’t remember much of my maths lessons from then on, but I do remember I ended up doing the simpler exam (a CSE for those of you old enough to remember. I got a grade 1). My O-Level result was very poor – a D I think. I’ll look it up later.
The point is, somewhere along the line I failed to understand some important things, and no-one either noticed, or was in a position to help me if they did. Maybe they thought, and remember this was all happening back in the late 70s, early 80s, that because I was a girl a) I probably wasn’t very good at it anyway, and b) I’d never need it. Clearly, though, I need to try and fill those gaps somehow, so I’m thinking of signing up for a maths A-level next year, at least as a start.