For someone who professes to hate math, I find myself using numbers a lot.
I work with money – that’s a lot of numbers. I do some stock and option trading – more numbers. And for some reason, I’m always thinking about things in terms of percentages.
What percentage of the work week has been completed, and how much is left?
I drive better than 97% of all other humans.
I’m operating at a 47% enthusiasm level at work.
What percentage of my brain am I actually using?
This latte scores an 82% on the latte scale.
My gas tank is 52% full.
What percentage is my phone battery on??!?
But, just because I think I terms of percentages, and look at and use a lot of numbers, does NOT mean I’m good at math. I can’t remember formulas for stuff (find the Future Value of an investment? Meh). I’m actually not even good at adding or subtracting, unless we’re talking about bars of Trader Joe’s chocolate (i.e., 10 bars for me, plus none for you, equals still none for you). But in my defense, just like we don’t have to memorize phone numbers anymore because they’re all in our phones, why do I have to figure out how to add in my head? Hello iPhone calculator.
When I was very young, my mother had my IQ tested. She never told me what the score was though. She always said she didn’t want it to influence me. So what was I supposed to think? It’s possible she never told me because she didn’t want me to be disappointed by how low it was. If it was really that low, I wouldn’t be smart enough to be disappointed by it… right? And then I did almost skip second grade…
So I’ll give myself the (hopeful) benefit of the doubt and assume the score was higher rather than lower. WAS being the operative word there. If I was smart at one time, it seems I may have lost it somewhere along the way. I think it could have been somewhere around 7th grade. Math got hard, blech! Or maybe it was my senior year in college, when I may have done a few things I probably shouldn’t have, that may or may not have contributed to the loss of brain cells…
When I think of a “smart person” or a person with a high IQ, nowadays images of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory come to mind. Super Nerds who can rattle off equations and spend their time solving our Big Math And Science Questions. But I know this is just a cultural stereotype. I’ll wager there are some pretty smart people working at regular jobs at the bookstore, or Whole Foods. Or the bank. Do geniuses decide to go open a dry cleaners? Or write novels? So why doesn’t someone make a sitcom about THOSE people?
In any event, I have fond memories of childhood, when I was still smart, and taking IQ tests, and going to Montessori school, and being assigned special creative projects because I had already finished reading the class textbook… Fond memories of a time when I was smart and the whole world lay before me, 100% pure possibility.