I excelled at Mathematics in primary school. In high school, not so much. My math teachers bored me to tears. My ten-minute attention span couldn’t handle the coma-inducing ennui. My parents signed me up for one-on-one tutoring. More boredom. I told them that the extra lessons weren’t improving the situation and advised that they stop wasting their money. I simply accepted that when the time for final examinations came around, I would fail math and the universe would go on.
The day of my final math exam I opened the booklet, sighed, and got to work. I answered what I could, ignored what I couldn’t. The invigilator noticed me staring off into space and asked me what was up. I told her that I was finished. She was obviously concerned and whispered, “Are you sure? I can’t let you leave the room yet. Are you sure that you’ve done all you can?” I nodded in the affirmative. In my head, I said, “Lady, this is hopeless.”
I can’t recall the exact order of events on the day that I collected my exam results. I do remember that the first grade I checked for was Mathematics. The top grade was a one. I’d earned a two. It was like I’d won the Nobel Peace Prize (or whatever prize they bestow upon math geniuses). I was delirious with joy. I didn’t have to repeat this horrid subject and I would never have to look at another math book. Or so I thought. My nemesis Mathematics and I would meet again. At university!