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Flunking My Algebra In The 80s

Much as I feel it hard to admit, yes.. I nurtured a love-hate relationship with my sophomore Algebra subject in the 80s. Think, a private school and the cost of tuition fees.

Honestly, from the first day of classes I was perplexed  why  a + b + c = abc, so I dismissed the idea that Algebra was to be taken seriously. I actually thought our teacher was joking when she cited the alphabets in a numerical equation! That..... or I had a special numerical impediment called dyscalculia.

So the weeks passed that I got really scared. I had plenty of panic attacks during recitations, quizzes, long quizzes and .. The Unit Tests!

Facts About Algebra In The 80s and .... me :

* I dodged my Algebra classes as successfully as I could manage. Tough luck I had of having the Algebra class 3 days in a row. Mondays was 3-4PM, Tuesdays was 12PM, Wednesdays was 3-4PM again. Most of my absences were on Tuesdays when our class used a temporary room for the first period. So the next time anyone saw me that day I'd pretend : "Wasn't absent, I was there" or "What homework? I didn't hear that we had one"

  *  In one unforgettable Algebra Unit Test, I knew I was in big trouble, I prayed so hard that I would miraculously pass. Alas! It didn't work that way because I never practiced computations, of course. I found out later that I scored 3 out of 120 items. I could've hidden in a box for a season out of embarrassment.

   * As expected, a lot of us failed Algebra and were given notice to enroll for summer class 1986. Me? I was enjoying the first week of summer in Tuguegarao City, and that notice/telegram cut my vacation short. :'(

* Summer school and the truth: I had 2 check marks on the attendance sheet out of the 45 required. Yes, severe absenteeism.  The first day I attended was to say 'hello I'm late, but I'm alive, what did I miss' and the second was after 10 days and I lied I got very sick. Of course, no one would believe because I was really healthy. :-)  Where was I during the rest of the summer class days? I was with Ate Baybee tagging along in her summer class in a university, or with my friends Lanie and Liezl, or.. worse, sulking at home.

                                          (Photo of the private school I went to from kindergarten up to my second year. I miss and love it )

* At the end of my enjoyable summer class, I did not pass. I had a "back subject" and could not move on to junior year in that private school. My relatives, being the stand-ins for my mom, spoke with educators to plea my case. No, not the mafia way of "muscle-ing" people. Thankfully, whatever I did was all forgiven and forgotten. No questions nor reprimands from my relatives. Simply enrolled me in junior year, in another school close to home - so folks can keep an eye on me. That's how I call Algebra Changed My Life.

The 41 year old me wishes I'd have done things differently. Here I learned that whatever leisure I got out of dodging and escaping classes was only temporary. I should have faced the problem squarely and dealt with it openly with the guidance counselor of the school.

Thankfully, it wasn't so bad after all, because I changed my ways the next two years after that.
I gained that discipline to listen intently to Math teachers' discussions and to ask whatever confuses me.
And see, I survived my make-up Algebra class the summer of 1987, Advanced Algebra,Trigonometry and Physics in 1988 and College Algebra I and II in 1989.


    Algebra Facts: Survival Guide to Basic Algebra

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    Presenting "A Day In Life" my series of texts from my journals that I kept between the ages of 14 and 17. I'll be adding new entries every now and then to share all my thoughts, ideas,events, experiences, memories, ideas I had during the eighties. It is for my continued amusement that I read and reread my old journals, even when there isn't much content, I still gain occasional insight how I'm still in the process of changing to maturity. Most of the names have been changed to protect the people I recently found on Facebook. A few are just partial entries, my bleeping and blinding exclamations have been removed and some entries have been modified to give way to my now correct spelling and grammar. Yet the mix of excitement, melodrama and pleasant memories from the eighties are still much felt :)I hope, as you read my old journal with me, you enjoy the same sentiments.