Friday, August 20, 2004

making peace with my enemy, math at its crudest

In an instance where I’m inclined to shut the door, my foot was invariably holding the door open. I’m talking about the language of math actually making it into my ears and reaching my brain. I had hated the thought of taking any more math courses after my dismal performance in high school math where I had to deal with tangents and cosines of a circle (trigonometry). It’s a whole different language and like the nature of any language you must have sufficient pre-disposition to learn it and to speak it.

I went to the WTO today to learn some database applications from a statistician. My foot was trying its hardest to hold the door open to let in the information she was giving me. I had to contend with both technical trade terms and of course my “favorite” – numbers.

She pointed to certain information which I would be dealing with in my line of work at the mission and what is required of me from the office. Usually, when I hear numbers a switch in my head turns off all possible comprehension but today, surprisingly, I was more receptive than I thought I’d be. Firstly, I was a bit familiar with MS Excel and MS Access language so it wasn’t a “re-invent the wheel” type of learning. There was a compounding of knowledge but it just took ever so slowly for the numbers to build up to a tower.

I usually shy away from numbers but seeing that this training is important in my line of work, I have to make friends with an enemy that has been so kind to me but I just don’t have the patience to forgive. Numbers and numbers…it would be easier to look at them and by some magic transformation I could understand them. Unfortunately, I am too old a dog to re-learn and love math. I have to just be content with what I know, and hopefully, it will grow on me like an unsightly wart. No harm, but ever so ugly masquerading as a beautiful ornament I’d wear.

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