Maths - very bitter

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  • My husband used to have this moan about his dyslexia.


    Now, however, there seems to be a lot more awareness regarding dyslexia. My stepson was given every possible assistance when he was at uni because of his dyslexia. Also, everyone at my uni that has dyslexia is given a full assessment and tailored assistance.


    I'm shite at maths.


    I did manage to get a C for my O grade. Primary school was fine, secondary school went a bit like this:


    First year - teacher was OK as long as we turned up but never really taught us. Most of the time I spent talking to Aileen Fisher.
    Second Year - bloody horrible man, I was terrified of him
    Third and Fourth - Mostly winged it as nothing really got through in the first 2 years either due to inactivity or fear.


    Now I am good at arithmetic and I have done wages and double entry book-keeping.


    But what the hell - equations, proofs and polynominals?????
    What kind of sadist came up with them?


    Getting to the point - In a practical today, I knew the theory - 2 agonists - measuring % contraction (on a virtual model) of a piece of ileum in an organ bath with regard to successive dosing concentrations.
    Then you add an antagonist to the reservoir linked to the organ bath the drug is going into and see agonist is inhibited. Then you plot your dose response curves, work out your EC50 and you do your freaking maths stuff.


    Well, I had a neurology appointment yesterday. I told the head of the course and asked could I come on friday. She is supernice. Of course.


    Came on Friday, sat down and another lecturer bitchswanked up and asked me why I was doing a different experiment. I explained that if I didn't do this today I would have no opportunity to do it as my groups did it yesterday when I went to my neuro and Dr Murray said it was OK - she tried again to get me to switch virtual experiments before going off to see Dr Murray. Then she came back and said it was OK.


    So not a good start. I balsed things up a bit worrying about the maths to come and took a while. In the end, the one who made a fuss at the begining came over to say that another class would be in and I would have to do the graphs in my own time. I asked for graph paper, not unreasonable as we have had to do this on paper before. oh, no says she we are doing this on excel. I said 'like the task you gave us in the first week', she says 'what task?' THE FREAKING ONE WE HAD 4 DAYS TO DO AND WERE TOLD ABOUT ON THE MORNING OF DAY 1, THAT ONE! - and I'm the one that's on the drugs that are meant to affect your memory, I really do wonder sometimes. 19 days later she has forgotten it.


    Anyway, she opens excel and without asking, are you OK with this? proceeds to show me how to do graphs in excel.
    I used to do daily, weekly and monthly reports in one job on excel. I can think of two other jobs where I have had to use excel and access. I also used publisher to design my initial promotional stuff for teaching swimming.


    I have been trying so bloody hard at the maths and now because I'm not some kind of freaking maths genius and I have an hour less to do the experiment today than I would have yesterday, she assumes I'm a bit dim all round and shows me how excel works FROM FREAKING SCRATCH. I cant say anything because she's a lecturer and I am dim at maths and she has helped in the past but I'm not freaking stupid at this.


    Bloody wank of an educational psychologist said I hadn't dyscalculia to me, then in a report said I had. THEN told those ********* (sorry the language is bad enough I cant let it get worse)at PIP, that it was caused by my epilepsy.
    Arsehole was never told about my epilepsy when I was tested. I was asked and I said no don't tell him and the report didn't mention it. If my epilepsy is to blame explain the good marks in primary school? Had it since I was 3 - twat.


    Most of the lecturers seem to think I just need practice. I'm sick of freaking practicing.


    Or more to the point, I'm sick of having no confidence in my maths so people assume I am generally thick. I understand theory just as well if not better than most in the class but just put up and shut up in case any follow up maths is asked.


    Sorry for the bitch... but I really am getting tired of this.


    The rest may have just tripped out of their precious higher maths, but who was first out of the H&S exam for level 2 lab clearance and got an A1 - some advantages to having some more years on the clock.


    No one comes up and says 'Wow, you got an A1 in H&S' though.

  • I have dyslexia irlen syndrom and auditory processing disorder I also had some residual dyspraxia issues as a kid. I was never assessed nor did it ever occur to anyone to get me assessed or that something might not be right...ergo i was regarded as a thicky,a dunce,an incompetent ,a retard , you name it ive been called them all by my teachers (1960's education system).I was hopeless at maths,it was a different language to me.
    Like you i managed in primary school.I actually got a good 11+ test but because my primary head teacher thought i was stupid because my maths was poor i was allocated 7th stream in comprehensive .The stream where those deemed suitable only for manual labour (brickies painters tarmac gangers) after school years resided.(that was the system)


    Someone in their wisdom realised I was intelligent and I was moved 2 years later into the top grammar school stream of comp which caused me no end of probs.I was not of their kind or background so did not fit in or accepted.I struggled to catch up after 2 years in 'the dunce stream' and I was ragged mercilessly by teachers as useless incompetent workshy hopeless,a waster ..physically abused slapped whacked with books and by one teacher with perspex flexi curves in technical drawing till i bled,ears twisted hard ,hit with a piece of wood and knocked out....I think.you get the picture. I spent two years age 13 to 15 getting .nowhere and diabolicsl grades and reports stuck at the bsck of classes where i could not see the board and routunely ambushed by teachers to explain things i had no clue about more for humiliation and entertainment than to assess my progress.
    My maths and chemistry were dire.I got ungraded in both in mocks.I skipped school more times than i was there and since id discovered my sexuality and alternative entertsinment Id no real interest anyway
    Suddenly though something clicked half way through pre GSE O level exam.year and I started to grasp stuff and much to the dismay and astonishment of my teachers flew through exams and ended up with 8 O levels
    Despite protests from head teacher of 16th form i was allowed to do A levels snd got 2 and 2 more O levels.


    I didnt go to Uni I wasnt recommended nor pushed to go seek a place I was routinely told i wasnt good enough and id fail snd it would be a waste of time me going i wasnt bright enough and Unis only wanted achievers ! I wss refused permission to see Uni place advisors.So despite getting the required grades in just 2 and a half to 3 years and getting as good results as all those who DID go to Uni I was a 'failure' and not good enough.Bearing in mind you couldnt get to Uni without recommendation at that time I had no real chance.I dont know if it was solely my maths ability.or homophobia thrown in I wasnt exactly in the closet about it but most of my teachers were obsessed with Maths and English and the sciences and nothing else mattered.


    I left.but as it happened I got offered a really good job and went to London at 18.


    I was finally diagnosed with.dyslexia at 27.Purely a chance conversation with a doctor colleague when i had moved to the NHS, he recommended a specialist to see and hey presto I had dyslexia something id kind of suspected but dismissed and suddenly everything made perfect sense.


    Im still pretty rubbish at maths and ive no clue how i managed to get an O level as ive looked at current GCSE level maths mocks questions my friends daughter was studying and may as well be alien speak.
    Ive done accounts and book balances and analytics...ive never once needed anything more than basic maths skills in 40 years since leaving school so for all the labelling and insistsnce id be no use at anything because my maths was not top whack I could easily be bitter...Im not though because despite all the maths obsessive arseholes ive been taught by ive done better jobs,done things and seen things and places they could only imagine so fuck em :)


    Good luck with the course,forget the lecturers,they aint no one special and theyll be doing the same boring shit till they retire. :)

  • I was listening to a Teacher on the radio, explaining how she has great difficulty remembering her left from her right and try's various techniques to avoid embarrassment.


    If we were travelling, and I said to my ex to turn left, he would say, "Do you mean your left or everyones' left?" :D

  • Knowing ones left to right is a common puzzle especially when giving instructions to people facing you and L and R are reversed from their perspective.
    What annoys me about teachers and lecturers is they can often be authoritarian bombastic and use various tricks of humiliation and distraction to hide their own faults or ineptitude.
    One of my teachers had awful spatial awareness and forever walking into things knocking things over,putting thi gs down and missing the surface he was putting them down on and windmilling his arms to describe things and knocking things or people flying-.yet be was the first person to bawl at anyone a d make them look a fool for being clumsy.
    In fact most of the worst of my teachers had some kind of dysfuntional personality issue but it was alwsys me and a few other prime suspects who were targeted.


    A friend of mine who.is retired psychology professor said to me one day theres an awful lot.of weirdos in teaching and lecturing who have been in the game so long they simply couldnt function in any other profession if they retrained.and had the qualificatiions.''they hide like actors do in theatre behind an artificial persona they create for themselves as the guru or teacher and because no one ever really gets to know them more than casually they get away with it for year after year.''

  • I was listening to a Teacher on the radio, explaining how she has great difficulty remembering her left from her right and try's various techniques to avoid embarrassment.


    I have trouble with that too. Not great difficulty but I did do my Aquafit instructors and Exercise to Music with left and right written on the wrong hands for facing a class.


  • You sound like you had a similar experience of education as my husband who has dyslexia and was regularly humiliated and declared thick at school. At secondary, they put him in the remedial stream. The thing was he was very good at maths and could work things out in his head, but teachers accused him of being a cheat because he was labeled dumb with reading and writing. He couldn't read when he left school and his writing was awful. A kind gentleman in his first job who realised he wasn't stupid taught him.


    He once met a teacher who had ritually humiliated him as a kid at a parents night going on about how he would make sure Graham (my husband's son) would get every help for his dyslexia. The bastard didn't recognise him. I would have been tempted to say 'Don't you remember me, you sadistic fuck?' But my husband is a nicer person.


    He was told too no uni would take him, even though later he did get highers in subjects like maths and economics - not English though!


    Years later he applied to Bangor as a mature student to do marine biology. He got an unconditional. Bitch ex-wife refused to move, too far from her precious borders.


    3 months after getting together with me we had moved to the highlands. Different time and place I could be married to a marine biologist now....


    Sorry for the rant i just don't feel very positive. I did get to see my husband today, he was over working in Aberdeen, that helped a lot.


    Thanks for your comments.

  • I have the same problem as my daughter, I was never diagnosed, but my daughter was - when she was at university, aged 8 she had a reading age of 10, by 8 I was reading up to 12 books a week. however, when it came down to writing, I would re-read what i had written and it would be complete and have everything there - when my teachers read it there were huge chunks missing in the middle, my brain would be racing far ahead of my hand doing the writing, and then would skip bits to catch up, did any of my teachers spot this as a problem - no.
    As I say my daughter had the same issues, and was eventually diagnosed at university while doing her law degree. (which she did get.) the only help she got was an extra bit of time in exams to check back on her work to make sure she wasnt skipping bits. me - I didnt go to University- I stopped at A levels. then became a draughtsman.


  • Yes it does sound depressingly familiar.I crossed paths.with a few of my teachers in later life,in particular one nasty sadist.I d been called out to his sick elderly mother and he was waiting in the car park outside her flat for us.I went up yo him and said good evening Mr xxxx have you retired ftom teaching yet? He said how do you know me I dont recognise you.I said no probably not but I wont ever forget you,Im the 'boy' you regularly hit with flexicurves in technical drawing and knocked me out in a rsge with a piece of 2x2 in woodwork....would you like to show us the way to your mother now . Funnily enough he didnt speak much after that apart from a thanks for looking after his mother and a muffled embarrassed apology for his hitting me at school. Too late for that I ssid and off we went.. Twunt!

  • I have the same problem as my daughter, I was never diagnosed, but my daughter was - when she was at university, aged 8 she had a reading age of 10, by 8 I was reading up to 12 books a week. however, when it came down to writing, I would re-read what i had written and it would be complete and have everything there - when my teachers read it there were huge chunks missing in the middle, my brain would be racing far ahead of my hand doing the writing, and then would skip bits to catch up, did any of my teachers spot this as a problem - no.
    As I say my daughter had the same issues, and was eventually diagnosed at university while doing her law degree. (which she did get.) the only help she got was an extra bit of time in exams to check back on her work to make sure she wasnt skipping bits. me - I didnt go to University- I stopped at A levels. then became a draughtsman.


    Thats exactly my problem Grendel .I think ive written down (or typed) whst im thinking im writing and go back to check and hslf of it is missing and same here..no one spotted anything wrong i was just a div with no brsins
    I also have problems with type sppearing to float or jumbled or move about.
    My hearing is perfect but I cannot understand people when theres a lot of chatter or background noise ..all of which contributed to the view i was stupid....my father thought so too...Ive an IQ of 150 though so not as stupid as they thought.


    The only way i managed to remember things or pass exams is becsuse ive a photogrsphic memory.I can read things and 'see' the same pages in my head when im needing to recall facts.
    The few times i could visuslise and repeat parsgraphs off pat to teachers or in exam questions I was accused of having cheated.
    Im pretty good at visualising things in 3D in my head and drawing them freehand and spotting patterns in seemingly random data though im crap at maths which often rattled teachers ,maybe thats why I was often unpopular because I could fo things they couldnt but for all that it never pointed them to any more obvious conclusions like I might be dyslexic ...to them I was stupid and the moments of genius were dismissed as id cheated or making stuff up and trying to be a smartarse.


    Id had enough of the education system too by 18.I doubt id have gone to Uni even if id been offered a place. Im glad I didnt...I had a far more interesting time elsewhere.

  • Interesting thoughts DM, I too am good at mental arithmetic but struggle with the rest of things labelled as maths, perhaps there is more to it? I had a tutor at school and just managed a C at O level.


    I would have been tempted to say'Don't you remember me, you sadistic fuck?' But my husband is a nicer person.


    :clap:


    Different time and place I could be married to a marine biologist now....


    Or you might not have met...

  • Interesting thoughts DM, I too am good at mental arithmetic but struggle with the rest of things labelled as maths, perhaps there is more to it? I had a tutor at school and just managed a C at O level.


    I was tested for dyscalculia. Beggaring educational psychologist said after the test that I hadn't got it; then he wrote a report, whingeing that I had refused to sit the dyslexia part of the test - 17 years with someone with dyslexia and you kinda know - and saying I DID have it. Oh, he got my degree wrong and his grammar was appalling but that's an aside.



    :clap:



    Or you might not have met...


    We'd have met. I have no doubt about that at all. Meeting and getting together is about as much karma as I'll admit to. We originally met when my husband was a gas engineer and I was 15. He was installing a living flame gas fire at my parent's house and I was bored and watching him. I made him coffee because I was told too. I grumped a bit about it. He was married then, I was illegal. Then when I was in Inverness working in my 20's he looked at a house over the other side of the river flom me when him and the wife split. He wanted to move up but the youngest child got upset and wanted to stay with his friends as he hadn't taken the split well, my husband stayed. I was even living in Edinburgh at the same time as my husband and we haunted the same pubs. I think I often worked in the ones he socialised in and vice versa.


    Too many coincidences. We would have met.


  • Oddly regards to the visualising, so am I. I got through school and uni chemistry by drawing out and memorising alpha helix, parallel and non parallel beta sheets, double helix, functional groups etc.


    I looked for all the questions that said 'draw a diagram of...... and discuss......' and ignored the maths ones.


    It's still a trick I can do. I can't remember chunks of text but I can remember pictures - wish it worked for bloody equations!


    I'm also pretty good at spotting patterns in words. Often to the irritation of others, particularly people who compile surveys.


    My husband was also discovered to have a genius level IQ.


    Wish I had a photographic memory for equations!

  • I was never good with equations or algebra or chemical forumalae but.I could visualize the molecular structure of various compounds and draw them.
    Considering the problems i have with visually reading and with writing I actually do a lot of both, o e of my A levels is English lit. I think i learned shortcuts and coping strategies long ago so managed to disguise many of my problems thinking it would be better that people couldnt tell I had issues.


    Its not stopped me learning 4 languages after I left school or getting to grips with anatomy and physiology in 3 months or learning cardiology emergency medicine or reading ECG's better than many doctors can in my own time...plus a load of other things that ive no uni education to underpin.


    Everyone has natural abilities and talents but the education system was/ is geared to churning out clones like vomit every year and if youre odd or talented you have to fight to be accepted or get the right support.

  • I can visualise the future and curse those who wrong me. I try to bite my mind tongue when folk push me over the edge. Too many have died hideously or ended up on a path of misery :reddevil: So Im careful whom I befriend and distance myself from those that flick my switches. Wise words echo, be careful what you wish for. :D Measure more than once, cut when your ready. :thumbup:


    Excepting we all have a level of dyslexia, warrants for a level of faith in a copilot. :insane:

  • the more you say the more I find matches my experiences - 3d- no problem with visualisation- maybe thats why I am such a good draughtsman, maths, if it had a point I could do it- abstract maths that had no point- couldnt do it, got up to additional maths (practical maths) at o level, then spectacularly failed at a level maths. managed to get a good grade in technical drawing at a level, despite missing one of the 3 exams.
    I too think a lot of the symptoms were masked because I could still perform at a reasonable level despite any problems I was having.
    the photographic memory, well I remember faces - putting a name to them is more difficult, I can look at a drawing and tell you where the mistakes are, but not what they are, mistakes disrupt the aesthetics of a drawing. I got as far as being a drawing office manager, and would often just circle an area and say there is a mistake here, but not know why.

  • I used to paint a lot, mainly watercolours. I can remember pretty much every painting I spent time on going back to a stupid pretend side of a house that I won a packet of opal fruits for when I was 5 for painting flowers on. I could describe paintings I did for other people of collies, great danes, rugby matches, wives, boats, the wee lad who drowned at our local pool, babies, my best friends kid and other peoples, loads from my riding stables, loads for my mother of cats, one in particular that I adored and she threw out, the god awful one a teacher made me copy over and over to teach perspective, the awful pattern I did for my higher. It's spooky.


    Sometimes it's a bit of a curse, I have a bit of software that lets me import slides and record my lectures, so the vocals are alongside the slides and I can type in any notes I want. Last year one physiology lecturer had these bright yellow slides, I'm remembering the damn things as I type. I might have missed a lot of lectures last year due to the side effects of the drugs but I got all the GI questions right. Cardio was memorable because the slides were just black and white.


    Yup I can do chemical symbols too. It does kind of stuff you a bit for actual chemistry though. I remember one question in first year chemistry, it asked which of the following sets of base pairs matched up and were correctly orientated. :D The next part was basically drawing it with the correct H bonding etc.


    I just drew what was in my head. It worked.


    Weird how so many of us can do this.

  • I had a friend, an infant school teacher, who eventually tattooed L and R on the backs of her hands, so she could remember which was which.


    When I taught swimming the kids got so used to me making mistakes with left and right that they just realised it was easier for me to point in the direction I wanted them to swim. I cant 'think' left and right but my proprioceptive senses have it sussed.


    There was a doctor I got friendly with, I taught her kids to swim. She used to get her 6 year old to give her directions from the back seat of the car she was so bad.


    I once got totally lost in glasgow driving with my husband. 'Don't bloody point I cant see you pointing!' We ended up screaming at each other.