Math Wimps Can’t Tip

Tip 15 percent for good service, 20 percent for great. No more than that. Courtesy of sxc.hu
Tip 15 percent for good service, 20 percent for great. No more than that. Courtesy of sxc.hu

Dear Freshmen and Anyone Holding Out For Kingdom Come Before They Must Take Math 1010…don’t do it.

I tried. I told myself: “I’m a nerd, sure, but not enough to compute – only nerdy enough to tell others when they’re using the wrong “their” or have one too many clauses in a single sentence. I spell, I don’t add.

“But that’s OK. I’ll just slowly accumulate math skills through tutoring services or wait for an accreditation class to come along and hand me a ticket to No More Math For the Rest of Your Darn Life. After all, I don’t have to take math immediately, and there’s no one to tell me that I need it now.”

Well, I’ve made it all the way to a year away from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Would you like to know what I got away with? I’ve noticed that I can’t do basic multiplication or addition tables anymore, which would come in handy when at the store. I leave budgeting to a vague and imaginative clerk in my mind instead of writing things out by hand, and it leads to accidental spending. When I’m on hopeful dates trying to impress or out at fancy sushi restaurants with friends, I find I can’t figure out the tip, which is something I used to be very good and quick at. And, as embarrassed as I am to admit this, I can’t add up the damage my attacks deal in a certain role-playing game I play with high school buds on weekends. It may sound cliché, but you really do fall out of practice very quickly with math.

So forget about the apocalypse, because math class will come first. Don’t pin your hopes on tutoring services to give you credit because I have sat through one program reincarnate itself and another fizzle out, and it’s always a step towards helping you learn but no shortcut to skip college math. Don’t mess up your credit hours by taking math out of order and putting it off until your senior year, because if you think you’re saving yourself the pain of doing math for later, you might have to plan to undergo a lobotomy for a calculator in your head instead.

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