Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The guy who got shot down over Russia.

13 business days to go.

In my line of work, quitting is like going through the Stargate. At the risk of undue amounts of geekery, hear me out. You don't know what it's like on the other side. You see other people do it, and they seem to be okay, but you still wonder if it's for you. And nobody ever really comes back from it.

So, maybe not like the Stargate? I don't know, I've only seen the movie. But you get what I'm saying. I've seen people quit this job and go onto another life, a life that's usually thousands of miles away from where I am. Most of those people seem pretty happy. They're still alive (always a plus, right?), and they aren't living in an institution. So by all means I should be all right when my comes, too.


I registered for some more classes today. I'm going back to school as a science major, which is particularly terrifying for me because, until recently, my highest grade in math usually hovered between a C and a B. That's not terrible, I've never failed a class, but having been told from a very young age that I'm "just not a math person," I stuck that label on my forehead, owned it, lived it, loved it. I could shrug off not being able to cook something because I couldn't subtract, add, multiply, or divide fractions. How important are numbers to someone like me, someone who loves to read, who enjoys art museums, who was practically born to be a liberal arts major?

The answer, in case you haven't been paying attention to the world and finance, is pretty effing important.

If you believe the hype that you can't get a good job without a college degree, then let me add to that by saying that the college degree you have better be science-related. As someone who sailed through college and walked out with a beyond useless B.A., I am completely kicking myself for not trying harder, for believing any person who ever said to me, "Well, it's all right. Math isn't for everyone."

I'm the type who can't forgive people who chronically misspell words, or whose grammar is practically indecipherable. People who don't understand basic geography KILL me. My soul honestly hurts when I hear someone say, "Who is Francis Gary Powers?" If this is the type of thing that's making me lose faith in humanity, how can I expect to skate by not knowing even the most basic of math skills?

I've picked a major in the medical field, and I have to have precalculus. The highest math I've ever taken was Algebra II. In high school. Thirteen years ago. Jesus. But I'm happy to report that I've gone back to class, and my last two math grades were both A's, and not even struggling, oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-the-miracle-that-just-happened A's. I took the class, I understood what was going on, and I did well. I think that it might even stand to reason that I can no longer say with confidence that I am not a math person. It may not be my favorite subject, but I can survive it. And yes, now I am able to figure out fractions.

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