Oh The Mathematics of Learning…

Inspired by Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion

That would be Maths.

Maths, oh the mathematics of it all.

I remember a time when I was in secondary 1 and we were being taught about equations. I was so confused but was too afraid to my teacher, Mdm Esther Lim, to repeat the lesson. This teacher was also known to be abit kooky. So when she asked if everyone understood, I nodded my head with the rest of the class.

Until she asked me to come up to the board and solve a problem sum.

I looked at the problem sum and tried my very best to solve it with what she had just taught the class.

She had also asked another student to solve another problem so there were two of us in front of the board. Unfortunately for me, that classmate was a tad smarter than me. I could only look at her cleverness in dismay.

Not being able to do any solving, I finally gave up, hung my head low and said, “I’m sorry Mdm Lim, but I don’t understand the lesson.”

I can’t remember what she said after that, but I remember usually obtaining some fails and borderlining pass for my Maths tests and exams. I excel in languages subjects (Malay and English Language) and also Art subjects, and land in the middle of the road for Science and Principles of Accounts. However, Maths was my weakest subjects throughout.

Until secondary 3 where I had a wonderful Maths teacher, Mr. Desmond Lim who was truly the best teacher ever. Everytime I felt afraid to ask him to repeat, he would say, “Don’t be afraid to ask me, I will repeat again and again until you understand it okay?” It was so comforting to hear that because I wasn’t the only weakling in class and hearing that made us weaklings feel more motivated to do better in Maths. So it went on for two years, in secondary 3 and 4 where he never got tired of explaining to us the concepts behind the problem sums and how to solve them.

As a result, from failing to bordeline passes, I obtained a B4 for Maths in my GCE O’ Lévels. (A B4 is the middle of the road, a low B – but still a B! An A would have been over the top to be honest, so I was more than elated to at least get a B for Maths, which was one of the compulsory subjects you needed to pass and get a good grade on to be able to move up to a tertiary institution).

And that is the story of Maths and I. I first hated it, and now while I don’t hate it, I just borderline like it.

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