Arithmophobia

I donated online to a charity and had two reactions to the last security question of the form.


My first reaction was “Oh, math. That’s an interesting way to make sure I’m a real person.”

To be honest, I don’t know how much of that thought I got through before this thought intruded: “Oh, math. CRAP!”

It’s simple addition, really.* But I looked at my answer a couple of times before clicking submit. And before adding the screenshot to the post, I scrutinized the answer.**

I’m a pretty smart person in some regards (and oh so humble to boot). Yet when it comes to math, I get a little panicky.

Forget about higher-level math. I never took calculus or trig. I opted for a summer probability course to satisfy college requirements.  A horrific grade in AP Chemistry convinced me that I was not cut out to do math or science.***

As an adult, I pause before answering math questions. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wrong. And if you have the wrong answer but speak it with conviction, I’ll (almost always) back down from my correct math answer.

*And addition, as we all know, is so simple colleges don’t even offer degrees in it, unlike English which they offer to already fluent speakers. Go back

** Because I didn’t want you all to think a wrong answer was my attempt at being cute (as if I have to try to be that (see above humble comment)). That happened in middle school when I covered my grammar text in a grocery bag and labeled it “grammer.” People thought it was funny. I knew I was stupid. Go back

*** Which meant my only shot at being an astronaut depended on becoming a pilot but my short stature, poor eyesight and long shot of getting into the USAF Academy knocked that off the board. Go back

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