At some point in my life, I was pretty sure I had dyscalculia or as I like to call it, dyslexia for numbers or better yet, the reason why I failed maths like a boss. See ehn, you just don’t fail math as many times as I did and not think you don’t have problems.
Throughout school, my relationship with math was very abusive, it didn’t like me and it beat me very hard and very regularly. In fact the only time I was good at math was when I was solving an example someone else just finished solving. It’s not like I didn’t want to be good at it, I did, I just never was.
In primary three my parents got me private math teachers, that didn’t end well. I remember one day, it was time for the lessons and I really wasn’t in the mood for it. So I locked the doors, went to my room and refused to open for the teacher. He knocked and knocked and knocked and I wouldn’t be bothered. Eventually he left, told my parents, who of course were livid. The only downside is that I had two lessons that week instead of one. It’s not like it helped my life anyway.
In primary four I had to stay back two or three times a week to get private lessons from some of the teachers, which was fun because there was a male and female teacher, the female was my math teacher by the way. They were always flirting with themselves, eventually they married, had a kid and moved to US. The Nigerian dream.
In secondary school it was not a different ball game, I was in a boarding school so I had a guardian who conincidentally was a math teacher at some point, my class teacher. She would eventually teach me math in Js 2 or Js 3, I can’t really recall, but it doesn’t matter I failed it anyway.
The thing is, in my secondary school if you got below a certain score in math you’d have to take the entire year again. I almost always got the barest minimum score eligible for promotion, other times I’d fail it totally, but because my grades in other subjects were good enough, I’d qualify based on let my people go. And that’s how I struggled and travailed in the place of failure till I wrote WAEC.
PS. If you’re wondering what happened in my JAMB math, well, so am I, because I passed it.
My WAEC math exam is the most memorable exam of my life because it was literally in Chinese. I don’t care, I saw questions dealing with angles of elevations and depressions that told me to construct triangles. My French teacher, Mrs Azubogu who knew I had problems with math was invigilating that day, she would walk up to me and see the confusion on my face, then she would try and cheer me on. That obviously didn’t help because my brain was dead to it and what is dead may never die. I failed it and only made it into University that year because my school mandated we wrote NECO, where I got a C in math.
I actually thought WAEC was like a final break up between me and math, little did I know that rebound is a ****. First year, first semester we did statistics and what we did that year was basic further math, which meant it was quantum physics.
That year the tech department in school made a mistake, they briefly uploaded our detailed scores on our school portals instead of just our grades. So I found out that out of a needed say, 45 marks to do let my people go I had 44. I went to file a complaint, Greek for I went to beg for my life. Carry over wasn’t my portion. As God would have it they added one more mark and I was a people let go. Downside, my CGPA was like that team in a 4×1 relay race that started late.
Post-school, my calculator has become a very important part of my life. I usually try to do the math in my head, but that’s not reliable. Funny enough even when we were allowed to use calculators in exams in secondary school, I was still failing. Sigh…this life is not my own.