Thursday, November 16, 2006

Work that left brain.

When I engage in a significant conversation or translate my cluttered thoughts into written form, I comfortably depend on the familiar reaches of the right side of my cranium. Intuition and perception come easily to me, as does compassion and consideration for others. And a chorus line of creatively placed words placate me, encourage me and pad the walls of my comfort zone. Within this zone, I’ve always kept all things analytical and diagnostic at bay. Don’t hand me a manual and don’t expect me to plan too far ahead. Leave me dancing to the rhythm of iambic pentameter and clinging to every beautifully unexpected adjective. I love reading aloud to my children, allowing my tone to ebb and flow as I become the character I’m voicing. Their eyes dart about as my voice incites their imaginations and I’m transported on stage, performing again with the creativity and passion that makes me, me.

Plodding through this semester has been….enlightening. I’m actually understanding and retaining the newly acquired specifics and information otherwise known as college algebra II. You can all let out a clearly audible gasp now. I’ll wait. Those who recall my rebellious high school days will remember my father attempting to hang himself with his tie from the dropped ceiling tiles in his classroom as I childishly slumped in the back row, refusing to allow myself to do anything that remotely resembled learning. Not only was I generally not logically minded, but I had my own father for a math teacher during the most volatile and complicated years of my life. You could say mathematics and I never established a healthy relationship. Enter Professor Fitzgerald: a tall man in his mid-sixties with eyes that twinkle when he smiles and a clever sense of humor not usually associated with math geeks. He appreciates and caters to non-traditional students, clearly recognizing that we’re faithfully in his classroom for three hours every week because we want to be there. His explanations and examples nudge my pencil across the paper with the kind of enthusiasm I ordinarily reserve for haiku or a catastrophically inspired piece of short fiction. By catastrophically, I’m referring to something unpredictably exploding in my kitchen or one of my children trying to flush a pillow down the toilet. Not that acquiring a sense of higher learning has been unproblematic. Although the responsibility of raising three children and maintaining a home remains my priority, the challenge has nurtured and cultivated my buried brainiac within. She encourages me as the Papoose is biting my kneecap and screaming for the boob while I’m still trapped in a bog of polynomials and coefficients. She lends me patience to mother when I’m feeling rather un-motherish. She provides the endurance needed to stay up until I’m confident in my understanding of the chapter and to rise early in the morning to tend to the anarchy of misplaced homework, wet mittens, spilled cereal and kisses out the door.

Although I will submit to an early afternoon nap with a snuggly toddler and woolen socks.


Blogger Jennifer said...

Ooh...Algebra II?? Oh man, I am so not worthy. I barely trudged through Algebra I. Rock on girlie!!!

6:21 PM  
Blogger KK said...

This was so well written. I didn't realize you were back in school. You amaze me on so many levels. WTG!!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Renée said...

KK, you mean you're not just amazed with my fabulous pair of engorged ta-ta's? I still didn't get that pic....... ;)

9:56 AM  

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