August 5th, 2015

Snarky Candiru2

On fingers, trucks and math anxiety.

One of the themes that we're going to be bludgeoned over the head with in a few weeks' time is that math is something of a hardship. We have Mike's constant beefing about he hates stoooooopid numbers because it's tooooo haaaaaard and he haaaaaaates it and teachers just make him do stoopid math because they hate him and want to torture him. Also, Lawrence's section of "The Lives Behind The Lines" has him be confused and angered by anything that involves an equation as he questions the need for something he's never going to use in real life so getting a C should be just fine.

The form Lynn's anti-mathematics propaganda is going to take is a strip in which Liz's first grade teacher talks down to her because she has yet to figure out how to do addition in her head. Like a lot of well-meaning but ineffective dumb people, Miss Blais probably spent her career never having realized that not all children develop at the same rate. As someone who was treated like a side-show freak because I could sort of read at a grade two level before entering school, I can attest to the horrid power of the institutional failure to admit that children aren't interchangeable, act-alike, think-alike drones who are all at the same level. What this means is that children like Lizzie (and Mike and Lawrence) fall through the cracks and end up having their enthusiasm for a subject destroyed by a teacher trained to ignore common sense in favor of a dogma.

The ultimate end result of all of this is to produce adults who struggle to understand how to budget because a Miss Blais killed the part of his or her brain that can learn math. This, I think, is why Mike and Dee were so pooooooor despite both of them making loads of money. The little boy who hated stoopid math and stoopid numbers because his stoopid vanity and stoopid need to avoid effort collided with his stoopid teacher's stoopid need to think of him as being stubborn and bad because he wasn't able to do what some abstraction said he should became a stoopid man who stoopidly wastes his money because he can't picture in his head where it's all going.