Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Following the Leader

I have always been slow to follow fads, especially in fashion. I tend to dress very unobtrusively. I prefer dark colors that allow me to blend in with everyone else and not stand out (my self-esteem is just oozing out all over, can’t ya tell?).

I’ve heard that straight, tapered jeans are “in” this year. Do you know how long it took me to wear what I considered bell-bottoms? Years. And it took a l-o-n-g time before I could see big, chunky shoes and muster up the desire to wear them. I still can’t get myself to wear pointy toe shoes. I feel like the Wicked Witch of the East waiting for a house to drop on top of me.

I’m slow to follow a lot of trends. When the Sudoku craze hit, I had no idea what it was. My friend’s son likes to work the puzzles, so I picked up a book of his while at their house. One look at all the numbers and I broke out in a sweat. I thought that you had to actually do math to solve the puzzle.

You see, math and I? Not such good friends. Math is my life-long enemy. My nemesis. I suffered through years and years of math during school. The only classes I didn’t make an “A” in were math classes. I managed to pull off a “B” every time, but I seriously have no idea how I did it. The only way I passed Geometry was by the use of my fabulous notebook. Each homework assignment and all of the notes we took in class went into a 3-ring binder. The teacher, may God bless her for the rest of her life, allowed us to use those notebooks for our tests. No textbooks, just the notebook. You can bet I took plenty of detailed notes. The next year she banned the notebook. The next year. I got through by the skin of my teeth.

Not only did I have to slog through all of the equations, numerators, denominators (that word sounds a lot like “dominate,” dontcha think?), powers, and fractions (OMG, the fractions!) during my school years, but now I’m being subjected to it all over again via my children. Drama Queen seems to be able to whiz through it right now, but we’re not actually into multiplication yet.

Karate Kid, on the other hand, is a whole different story. He and I are just alike. Math is going to be his challenging subject also. Even if he finishes his work in class, he always brings it home for me to check. Thank goodness for the wonders of the Internet, so I can figure out what the heck I’m doing. But here’s the kicker: he’s in Honors Math. Spitting image of his mother, same lack of the math gene, and his teacher recommends him for honors. That means that he is in 6th grade but using a 7th grade book. That’s one whole year of missed instruction—for me. How am I supposed to be able to check this boy’s math if I missed an entire book? It’s very embarrassing when I tell him he has the wrong answer, we argue our point back and forth about why we each think we are right, I persuade him to change his answer, and then he gets it wrong. He, of course, had it right in the first place.

So back to Sudoku. I have managed to steer clear of it all this time. Until this weekend, that is. My sister brought along her Sudoku book, and I picked it up and was flipping through it while I was waiting for her to get ready. It’s a wonder I didn’t break out in hives just from picking it up. She, being the good sister that she is even though I got the last two extra pillows that the hotel had and wouldn’t share them with her, forcing her to sleep with no pillow so she could hold on to the one she had, told me I could work a puzzle if I wanted. And, dang it, if I wasn’t bored enough to try one (I obviously did not have a book with me, or I never would have been looking through it in the first place).

I had been told that you don’t have to do math at all to solve the problems. They very well could have used the alphabet or colors or something else instead of numbers. And you know what? They were right. No math needed, my friends.

Guess what my new, albeit late, addiction is?


Posted @ 12:37 PM ~ 7 comments

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