April Page 5


Whether it is a cold or my sinuses, my body has been sending very direct messages. You are sick. You need to rest. Why aren’t you resting? Sleep, you need sleep.   Oh and by the way, until you give me what I want food will lose all favor. 

And it did. Well mostly, I just didn’t want to eat the veggies. Freshly steamed veggies. Warm and crispy veggies that I normally devout just lingered there while I went for second and third helpings of mashed potatoes. I was really tempted to go get a milkshake, blowing all the lovely work I have done in the past week with my diet.

My body wants sleep and rest. Not to be up and at work. It wants more than a day off. It wants less stress and more … just more. More of all the things, I like to do but don’t get a change to do because I am working all the time. I am not sure if I really want to spend the next six months working on my math certification when there are other projects and goals.

I wanted it because I thought I would be able to translate my love of math into the change I have been looking for in my life.  I wanted an easy out. No such luck. It would have been nice. Well, not really since it would have caused all sorts of other change and in the end might not have done what I wanted it to do. Secure my income base and work more on my passions, writing and gardening.  Spend more time with family and loved ones, here and in Virginia and New York as well.

I am still going to work towards the math certification. It is something I always wanted.  I gave up on being a math major in college for a couple of reasons.  The first was it got a whole lot harder than it was in high school.  I didn’t make the transition well.  I didn’t really have to study in high school and going to college, my math classes jumped up a level that I wasn’t expecting. There were lots of other pressures going on all at the same time and let myself get distracted from my course work.

I failed to ask for help until it was clear that I was way in over my head. So I got a D that first semester and the one after that. Soon a switch in majors was on the way.

The second thing that killed it for me was my instructor although kind and willing to help was that he lacked passion for subject. A grad student who was assigned to teach Freshman, he did his job, but he didn’t know how to teach. He did practice problems and reviewed with us, but there wasn’t anything engaging about the class.  Mrs. G, the veteran teacher, that I had yesterday engaged with the class.  She took time to explain and answer questions, adjusting her tone and going back and working problems.  It was really amazing to watch.

The last reason that I gave up on it was my own self-doubt. It ate and me and I allowed it to tell me that I wasn’t good enough. This has been something that has plagued me for years. For many years, I thought while I was intelligent I just didn’t have the brains to get it. Cognitively, I could tell you that there is difference between talent and skill. Skills are developed and talent may be intuitive but it takes skill to refine. Emotionally, however, I thought if I wasn’t good at something after a little bit of practice, then it wasn’t for me. I would go on to something that I was good at. Pretty silly since I never developed anything for a long time except for my writing.

I gave up on getting a degree in math many years ago for a lot of reasons. I don’t regret the choice because it led to some many other wonderful things. Still, I feel like getting my certification in math would go along way to complete something that I gave up on thinking that I just wasn’t smart enough to do it.  Turns out, I am smart enough to keep on learning.

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