A Great Lie I Was Told When I was Younger

2 August 08, 2017 By Dang

There was a girl who practically went brain dead and developed instant migraine when she saw equations or calculations written on paper. She would look around, wondering how everyone else understood it expect her. When she got admitted into secondary school, she would blank out in math classes, only barely passing the exam.

During Prep time in school, she would watch other people concentrate on their math assignment. Just so she wouldn’t look dumb, she would also concentrate on her books, seeing nothing but scattered numbers but her imaginations would take her away , to places she wanted to go, things she wanted to do, people she wanted to meet, how she wanted her life to be. Then she would remember, because her teachers said so, her parents said so too, “You cannot be successful in life if you don’t know mathematics”.

One day, this girl looked at herself and wondered “what is wrong with me that I cannot understand maths?” So she paid an A student in her class with her lunch and Sunday morning bread to teach her math for a month. She needed it, she was graduating secondary school soon, how was she to succeed in life without mathematics? For weeks, she learnt maths like a toddler.

Still she got stuck.

So she cut off the class, with the excuse that she had learnt enough to make her pass her WAEC.

The truth is, she had resigned to fate, she was never going to succeed in life, she was dumb. All other things she was good at didn’t matter. She had been told “no success without excelling in mathematics”.

Two days before WAEC Mathematics Exams, she pretended to fall sick, she hid under her covers, pretending to shiver, just so when she failed, there was a ready excuse: “she was sick so she couldn’t study for the exam”.

WAEC results was released, she had a B in English and excelled in other subjects too but in Mathematics she had F9; no one was surprised.

No university would take her without a “C” at least. So she took GCE and this time her parents enrolled her for special lessons, it was a waste of time but she went along with it anyway. Nothing had changed, calculus still gave her a headache and made her heart burn. She did the GCE and passed- barely- enough to get enrolled in the university.

The girl is grown now, she still can’t teach her nephews calculus, but she can teach them business studies. If she retook a mathematics exam now, she would still fail but ask her to make out 13.2% of N126,340 and you’ll get the correct answer in seconds. This is because she is now a successful business woman in her own right.

The teachers were wrong, her parents were wrong. She didn’t need maths to be a success in life.

Even though she tried, God knew her limitations and made her excel in her strengths.

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2 comments on “A Great Lie I Was Told When I was Younger

  1. Anonymous

    Thankfully the world is evolving and parents are no longer hard on children when it comes to failing in school, cause there are a million other platforms where they can succeed




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  2. Some-fun

    Reading this was as though I was reading the story of my life.Maths was and is still like Greek to me.even when my kids bring home maths assignment,I bluntly tell them to wait for their dad that I don’t know it because the way they made maths seem to me created a lasting damage .like you I had to enrol for another exam and God saved me by the strokes.
    seriously the fearing maths still makes me cringe




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