## Thursday, October 20, 2011

### Use or Lose It!

It amazes me how true that one simple statement is.  It can be targeted at so many things in life.  Some things are like riding a bike. Some things well, they just don't come back, or at least not that easily.

For me it's math.  I'm not talking adding and subtracting, it's that damn multiplition table that gets me every time. You see my son is working on this in school and most nights I'm the one who helps him with his homework.  He does it, I correct it.  Hello, not a good combination!  It's the blind leading the blind here.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I know the table, but my 9's table? Yeah, don't ask me for answers above six.  I have printed out the table for reference, for both of us, and only use it in dire straights.  My husband printed out another one for my younger son to learn, so in my house all three of us are learning our mulitplication table.

I can't remember the last time I actually needed it, so I haven't used it, and with calcultor's these days technically you don't need it.  But you do, you really do!

School was hard me back then.  I graduated, I suffered but prevailed.  I even made it to college when so many people thought I might not.  I graduated with an English Literature Degree.  I prevailed, Damn it.  I have my war scars- I won.

Now I have to fight all over again. Damn. On to round two!  Why?  For my boys,  it's work that is worth the effort. It's worth it to me that they know, it might not be easy, but it feels pretty darn good when you get it.

I'm hoping when I get an agent the same will happen, they see me at night working on my books, they see the hours that go into it.  Deep down I know they know nothing happens over night, and the reward is so much sweeter when you worked for it.

Tell me what you lost and had to learn all over again, I'll be hitting the flash cards.

1. I should have paid better attention to history. I'm relearning everything, and I can't help my daughter out.

2. Funny you mention the multiplication tables. After my accident, I lost a lot of memories and one of them was the multiplication tables. I could remember the teacher who taught them to me, I could even picture her doing it, but the tables themselves were gone. So, I had to relearn them all. I'm still not great at them, but then again, I never really was a math whiz.

3. LOL! So many things I've forgotten over time. I actually love math, though. Call me strange. It runs in the family.

Science is what gets me. :)

4. I still see no reason to maintain my memory of the multiplication tables. If my bank statement is correct and the totals on my receipt are correct I regret none of my intentional replacement of math with other things (like the perfect recipe for cookies).

5. Way to go you! Math was always my Achilles heel too.

I, sadly, have lost a lot of my French skills. I took it all through high school and college, and haven't cracked a book or spoken much of it since. :( Maybe it's time to jump back into it again...

6. When I was in my 20s, I had a boyfriend who often referenced not knowing his 9-times table. I thought about buying a nice square table and painting the 9x formulas on its surface. Years later, I had a revelation, and I'll share it with you now. You only need to memorize HALF of the 9-times table because the second half is the first in reverse. As follows: 09, 18, 27, 36, 45. Then, reverse them: 54, 63, 72, 81, 90. Hey, have your son share that with his teacher! (I'm guessing it'll be news to her, and I'm also seeing some extra credit on the horizon...)

I love math because it has no grey areas. (I have too many grey areas, and they're not all in my hair.)

7. Math is definitely one of those things I have had to keep up with. I have also learned that it is more important to know where to find the answer as opposed to memorizing the answer. Especially in this day and age when the internet is at our fingertips all the time.

8. I HATED math in school. In fact I still have nightmares about it. They usually goe something like this: I have to go to the final exam but I don't know any of the material because I haven't gone to class all year! That's how deep my dislike is. :) Thankfully my DH is a whiz at math so I'm couting on him helping the kiddos.

9. You think you have it tough. Two of my kids are in a Spanish bilingual program and the oldest does his Math in Spanish. I have a hard enough time with it in English. It's next to impossible when I have to translate it from Spanish as well. I've only taken second year university Spanish--and have forgotten most of it. :P