What It Feels Like to Be Bad at Math
My hazy, anxious, defensive procrastination made me a better teacher.
- Muddled half-comprehension.
- Fear of asking questions.
- Shyness about getting the teacher’s help.
- Badgering a friend instead.
- Copying homework.
- Excuses; blaming others.
- Anxiety about public failure.
- Terror of the teacher’s judgment.
- Feeling incurably stupid.
- Not wanting to admit any of it.
It’s surprisingly hard to write about this, even now. Mathematical failure—much like romantic failure—leaves us raw and vulnerable. It demands excuses.