A Daily Blog of Family Life in Wisconsin

How to fail at almost everything and still win big

What happened in high school my freshman year?  Algebra 1 happened.  That was my first F.  The scarlet letter.  I’m not an F kinda guy but I was completely blindsided by Algebra.  It was so far over my head I needed a telescope.  They didn’t have telescopes for math, only Astronomy so I was out of luck.  I asked the teacher for help and he said I should just try to follow along and absorb it.

So I sat there drawing pictures of analog clocks on my notebook and then drew circles around the clocks — clockwise circles of course.  I was trying to speed up time.

That was pretty much how I spent my time in Algebra 1. In the Summer I was offered the chance to do makeup homework that I didn’t get done during the school year.  And that just hung over my head all Summer. That dreadful feeling of incompleteness.  Gosh, I still remember that so clearly.

I don’t remember if I did anything (homework-wise) or not.  I’m thinking not since I had no idea how to do it.

I wish I knew then how things would turn out.  I went straight into Algebra 2 as a sophomore.

What?! There was a new math teacher at the school and he looked at my other grades (As and Bs) and said he knew he could teach me Algebra and there was no reason to repeat Algebra 1.  I was in a class with good company… practically the entire football team and the class clowns.

I learned Algebra 2 and thankfully stuck with this teacher for all of my math in high school and tested out of math for college. I also earned a lot of money betting on NFL games with my classmates.

So it all worked out.  Go figure.

But I wish I knew that Summer that things would work out. I just need to remember that so I don’t miss out on any more seasons of my life.

(The title of my post is also the title of a book I’ve just started reading by Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic.)