I have always struggled with mathematics. I'm not dumb, in fact I don't think I have ever had a grade lower than a C in my life, I actually got several A*'s in my academic career, I have a degree, I am a smart cookie.
Now I'm not telling you this to brag, but if I told you that if you asked me what 6+8 was that I would go blank, try to secretly count on my fingers and then still get the answer wrong. If I was working in your local pub and gave you the wrong change. If I handed you 3 $10 notes and thought I had given you $40, you would be forgiven in thinking I was a dummy.
I got a B+ in maths for my GCSE's (think like 16 year old school leaving type exams) and then I breathed the most enormous sigh of relief when I got to drop it like a hot brick. Those tears of frustration, the years of panic hiding in my maths class (the top stream by the way) hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me. Thank god those days were over.
When I was about 25, I realised I can't play card games. Well, actually I can't play any game including connect 4. Numbers change before my eyes, patterns fail to appear and that club I was holding in my hand weirdly becomes a spade once it was on the table.
I also worked out that timekeeping is hard. Like, really hard. I can't remember phone numbers, even basic number sequences evade me... what is my house number again? 31 or 32?
My younger brother is a whizz, he got a first class degree a couple of years ago and out of the 5 of us kids he is the most achieved sibling of all. He is also Dyslexic. I am so proud of how he worked his little bum off and studied and succeeded despite this. I mean, I really think it helped that it was recognised because if he were older, rather than younger than me I 'm just not sure it would have been. Maybe people would have thought he was a dummy rather than the very talented man I know he is!
Then, in about 205 (EDIT: That was NOT a deliberate mistake! Typo!) I googled 'maths dyslexia' and got a result that left me gobsmacked. Ever heard of dyscalculia? It ain't a relative of Dracula, but instead a learning disability relating to mathematics. As I scrolled through list of symptoms I mentally checked nearly every box... obvious inability to retain numerical information, inability to conduct financial transactions, difficulty sight reading music, limited strategic planning ability (for games like connect 4!) even my un-coordination became accounted for!
Dag-nab it! So I'm not a freak after all! I just have a disability right!? Cool! So maybe if that was recognised like, sometime before my schooling career was over, my maths teacher may not have looked at me like a freak with 2 heads and instead given me a lap-top, and extra time on exams like my bro got!
So thank you guys, for breaking my fear of connect 4, I had a blast. Just don't ask me to score the next roller derby bout!
Oh, dearie me, I had to share this wee video I found...
I just love the "... I'm normal..just like you!" bit. Cracked me up! Soooo serious!