4/24/2017

Oh, Math!


One of the editors I work with, Beng, posted on social media about waking up from a nightmare: being unable to solve a Math problem!

That could have been my post. Math always brought me nightmares—whether I was awake or asleep.      

In college, I was in danger of failing my Math 101. I had to do something fast. I asked a Math major, my dorm mate, to please tutor me. She said, "Okay, but you'll have to pay me per hour."

It was a gargantuan problem. I did not have extra money and I couldn’t tell my parents about it. So I decided to skip snacks for a week and to walk, instead of ride, to every place in our huge campus so I could save my transportation budget.

Since I was paying my tutor an hourly rate, I forced myself to learn quickly.

I passed! My barely passing mark, however, brought my average grade down. Well, small price to pay for not failing.

My brain shut off whenever I encountered anything that had to do with numbers. I couldn't balance my checkbook and I shunned from making counting (even money) my problem. 

Like a big joke, I was elected treasurer in our small church. I couldn't make my Math-impaired system an excuse. So Sunday after Sunday, I’d struggle with numbers. A good thing it was just plus (offerings and tithes) and minus (expenses). Sixteen years later, the church grew so big the job became complicated—SSS, Pag-ibig, Philhealth, petty cash, vouchers, etc. came into the picture.

I was a candidate for mental exhaustion. So I begged an accountant friend to take over. After turning over the cash left with me, my accountant friend said, "You have an overage of P4,300.16 [she counted to the last centavo!].”

That was an accrual of all the cash I put in for fear or shortage. 

How did I ever manage those 16 years? With oodles of grace, no less. As I tried to be a good steward of the Lord's money, I learned to be a good steward of my own. Now I can balance my checkbook.

Sometimes my brain still shuts off when numbers are discussed, but am I blessed that they’re out of my hands, as I now work with words full time. 

(In the university where I teach, our grades are in letters, not numbers. Whew!)


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