Calculus? Isn’t That The Stuff That Builds Up On The Dogs’ Teeth?

After spending the last decade writing long sprawling fantasy novels and not getting them published, I have decided I’d like to get paid for my writing for a change. I’ve been working with a couple of fiction markets and am looking to add a couple more. I got a story accepted back in December, then took a hiatus while we moved into the house. Now I am back in a routine of writing and submitting. In order for this deal to be lucrative, I have to put in some hours, about four a day, squeezed in among my other responsibilities.

A few days ago I did something that will make it a lot easier for me to work this part-time job: I signed up Daniel and Anna to take Biology and Pre-Calculus from a local math-and-science lady who home-schools her own kids and generates income by teaching upper-level classes. More power to her, I say. She has a valuable commodity to offer the home-schooling community and is worthy of her hire. I can kind of stumble through helping Daniel with his Algebra 2, but at great cost of time and personal energy. And my own college experience with Pre-Calculus is not a shining episode in my history. As an English major, I was required to go only so far as Trigonometry (a subject which in more recent years has evidently been phased out by the reigning powers in the mathematics community), but to complete the UNT Honors program, I had to take Pre-Calculus—Honors Pre-Calculus, at that. Most Honors-caliber students took Pre-Cal as freshmen, having breezed through Trig in high school. A small group of us had to take Trig as freshmen, then take Honors Pre-Cal as sophomores, odd men out in a class of younger students who found higher mathematics exhilarating. The professor was an energetic, inspired little man who loved his work. It is too bad that with so much enthusiasm he could not penetrate the resistance of my little group. We huddled together in a back corner, three English majors and a Philosophy major, the self-styled dumb group. I am sorry to say that we spent class time discussing the nature of existence and didn’t pay much attention to the ranting and scribbling of the lively professor. A freshman boy tutored me enough to get me through the final exam, and that ended my studies of higher mathematics.

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