Thursday, May 5, 2011


It's been about a week since I found out I got an A in Statistics. I know, right? Me? Who barely got through basic Algebra II that was a requirement to graduate high school, even though I was taking Physics, AP English and had taken every science class offered by Stafford County? Well, except AP Biology because I refused to skin a cat -- plus it conflicted with AP English which I knew I would do well in. Anyway. Back to me usually sucking at math.

I was a typical overachieving student who did well in everything except math; even the sciences that require math, like Chemistry and Physics, were fine for me because for some reason when applied to science, math made sense. Otherwise, nah. It took me forever to learn how to tell time on a clock. In 7th grade I had all As on my report card except math. I managed to squeak out a C after pulling a D+ during one of the grading periods. The shame, the shame. And that shame has pretty much followed me throughout my learning life -- anytime math is involved, I freeze. No one was more relieved to take the first calculator-enabled SATs than I.

Statistics was on its way to becoming the same albatross as other math classes; the prof wasn't that engaged, when I read stuff it kind of went over my head, using the Excel tools to pull the data was fine, but interpreting them afterward was like wha? I was starting to sweat this whole shebang. Then I had to prepare for my midterm. So I decided I was going to start over and be good at this, dammit. I read the chapters out loud to myself like I was in first grade. I did all the practice problems. I reinterpreted examples to apply them to my life instead of the sample in the textbooks. I worked hard -- which for a Type-A classic Good Girl student with a photographic memory, was challenging. I'm not used to having to study to know something. ;)

I got an A. By myself! Oh, it was on.

And then I got a B on the second exam and promptly spiraled into panic mode. Maybe the A the first time was a fluke. I'm going to fail the final OMG.

Never mind that the B was actually a B+ and I still had an A overall; suddenly I was in 11th grade again and felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

Then I took the final and to no one's surprise, the checked-out professor has simply rehashed questions from the other tests and quizzes and with my photo-memory, I was golden. There were a few original problems that popped up, but I got through them. I got an A on the final and an A in class.

So does it feel like a hollow victory that the final was a rehash and it was my memory that pretty much got me the A?

Hell no. Now that I'm an adult, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is: You take the victories when you can.


  1. Even the word statistics sends me into a tizzy, so an A is quite an accomplishment. I haven't met one person who didn't think that class was some kind of punishment for sin!

  2. Ha! :) Thanks - there were definitely times when I was kicking myself because I had willingly signed up for this!