Monday, 29 October 2012

Mathematics and I are eternal enemies.

I don't usually write these kind of articles but today i feel somehow outgoing.
As candidates nationally sit for their KCSE, i am reminded of an enemy who went beyond my education in shaping my life: Mathematics.In the 16th century, a brutal monster was invented, it's name was Maths. Maths is the abstract study of   topics including quantity, space, structure, change and others. The invention of Maths itself is a riddle. No one really knows who and which cultural group came up with such a cruel beast. I am told Maths further developed from calculation, counting and measurement to study of shapes and motion of physical objects. That is a brief desccription of who my eternal enemy is. Mathematics and i have an enduring enmity as my exam papers and exercise books will testify. The low marks and dismal percentages tell the whole story. Maths made my educational life a living hell. Socially, i was a laughing stock for my classmates and friends because of the embarrassingly low scores i attained in that subject. To use the most basic of principles, Maths added to my misery and toil throughout my primary and secondary schooling, Maths subtracted my joy at learning, divided me and my desired mean grade and multiplied my hatred for it with each passing day. Extra tuition never bridged the sharp differences i had with Maths as i struggled in my tiring battle with it.
In the world over, wars have been waged, battles fought and rivalries have been settled but none in history compares to my epic battles with Maths. Maths lessons were nightmarish, I'm surprised at how i survived those double lessons. My teacher whispered to me something about 'negative attitude towards Maths' for my difficulties with it. For me, an attitude change was neither here nor there, i hated Maths. One advantage that Maths had over me was that it was compulsory. I had successfully discarded Agriculture and Business Studies along the way but Maths stayed put. it was a David vs Goliath affair and i was being crushed under the weight of gigantic failure. I occasionally embarrassed the giant. I remember the days i scored 82% and 70% in Maths, the class teacher led the class in congrajulatingly clapping for me, i felt on top of the world as i momentarily stood tall over Maths.I thought i could gather forces to help me combat Maths, i really needed the help, so i told English, Kiswahili, Geography and Biology to help me win the battle and since Carl Friedrich Gauss claimed that Maths is 'The Queen of all Sciences' Physics and Chemistry turned against me when they embraced Maths. My four allies could only do so much as my failings in everything Math were uncloaked for everyone to see as my results came out every term.Maths destroyed me in inter-school exams but i pinned it in national exams, on the big occasions. I will never forget the embarrassing percentages handed to me because of Maths. Even phrases such as 'do the Math' rarely feature in my vocabulary.Once i entered campus , i entered a new chapter of no Maths. I can say, i have slayed Mathematics, the hurrah upon realising that there would be nothing like Maths in my course was as loud as it was victorious. With no more nightmarish and unbearable Maths lessons, i can proudly look back at the wounds it inflicted on me, i have survived through all the trigonometry, surds, matrices, geometry, binomial expansion, relativity, 'finding X' and other weapons it could throw at me.
I have new battles now but they can only come second to the ones i had with Maths: My eternal enemy.

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