Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

It Just Doesn’t Add Up July 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 4:53 pm



“The hardest math to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”   Eric Hoffer


Actually, I’m really good at counting my blessings; it’s the math part that’s tough for me.  Always has, always will.  This, somewhat confuses me.  Literally and figuratively.  You see, I have forever loved reading, writing and anything to do with words.  (Maybe that’s why I married a Smith – so I could be a wordsmith!)   So, by looking at the chart below, this would make me a left brain thinker.




Yes, I use logic, I’m detail-oriented, love facts, am nostalgic, prefer order, am realistic and practical, and I’m not a risk taker.  Why then, am I so bad with numbers???  It just doesn’t seem fair.  Am I alone in this quandary?  Are you great with either words or numbers, but not both?


And by bad, I’m mean very bad.   I remember always struggling with math and most sciences.  Once I had to learn how to divide two digit divisors, I was lost.  Forever.  Geometry is probably the only math that made any sense to me, maybe because I could see how I might apply it in the “real world” someday.  Algebra?  Forget it.  I might as well have tried to learn Russian…speaking, writing, and a whole new alphabet!  Trig?  No way, Jose.  Science was a little more bearable for me.  My favorite high school teacher was Mr. Muir, who taught Biology.  I didn’t love the course subject matter per se (dissecting frogs?  Eeeewww!!!!) But, I enjoyed the class as a whole.  I also really liked the Astronomy course I took my first year of college.  But Chemistry?  Ugh!  It’s the perfect yet terrifying storm of science and math!


Speaking of college, my Journalism major meant I only had to take one Business class, i.e.:  a math and number class.  Back then we were allowed to take one “Pass/Fail” course so I, of course, chose to use that golden ticket on my “Personal Finance” class.  Other than the fact that I had a famous OU football player in class with me, the course will forever be lodged in my left brain knowing section because I would have gotten a B.  To this day I still languish over the fact that my official college transcript could have had a B in a Business class! 




Yep, that was me and sadly, my daughter Kristen has inherited my lack of number knowledge.  I felt so bad for her growing up because she had a mom who couldn’t help her with the simplest of homework assignments.  As a matter of fact, I was totally lost once she got to around third or fourth grade.  From there on it was either “ask dad” or hire a tutor.  I remember when we had to buy her her first $100 calculator for Algebra – I panicked just looking at it.  There’s no way I would know how to even start using it!  I don’t even like calculators!


If I’m in charge of tipping, you can bet that person is going to get either 20% (if he or she is good or very good) or maybe a tad more then 10 percent if the service is bad, as figuring out 15 percent of anything just doesn’t happen in my brain.  Decimals?  Can’t help you.   And Pi?  If it’s not pumpkin or apple, I’m lost.  Who knew it’s really a mathematical constant  that is the ratio  of a circle’s circumference  to its diameter?   Whaaaat?  There’s even a Pi Day, the unofficial holiday commemorating the mathematical constant.  Pi Day is observed on March 14  (or 3/14) since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form.  Here’s how I like to remember that: 



What confuses me even more about the “Left Brain/Right Brain” so-called logic is that I’m very emotional or “feeling,” and philosophy and religion are very important to me.  I’m also slightly creative yet not at all artistic.  I guess things aren’t always black and white and easily analyzed and rationalized.


What about you?  Do you have both right and left brain functions and sometimes wonder how you function with them?  What “other side of the brain” trait do you wish you had? 


I’ll take my love of words and lack of number sense and be happy.   I may be schizophrenic but at least I have each other.









One Response to “It Just Doesn’t Add Up”

  1. northshorelady Says:

    Wow… This dialog intrigues me!! As I challenge myself more now than I ever did in my younger years , I see different way of strategies, methods of success and proven determination factor a huge point as confidence plays a vital role of end result. Nothing is out of my reach. I wish my horizon was more articulated and exposed to the medical field back when I was “dry-eyed , wet between the ears”….. I believe I would have been deeply in involved in medicine. REALLY🌹🌹… Not that I regret the path I walked…. Just –shoulda-woulda-coulda

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