Tuesday 6 December 2016

Maths is not for everyone, it's why we have calculators

It is time we got over the embarrassment of not passing the subject in the Leaving Cert

Published 21/08/2016 | 02:30

'Is it really so terrible to acknowledge that some people are useless at maths? It’s not a crime.' Stock image: Depositphotos
'Is it really so terrible to acknowledge that some people are useless at maths? It’s not a crime.' Stock image: Depositphotos

Even as the scene unfolded, I felt I was in a play. Picture a messy, feminine attic bedroom. The poor girl who got her Leaving Certificate results that morning sat up in bed, still in her pyjamas, quilt pulled around her. Sobbing, she brushed her long hair back off her face whilst taking a drag from a cigarette, intensely typing at her laptop; presumably chatting to her classmates or that boyfriend we didn't like.

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Around her sat the aunt, her stepmother and me; a kind of honorary aunt who'd been sent for once the red button has been pressed. We clutched glasses of lukewarm champagne and smoked, even though I'd long given up smoking. Her little sister, choking quietly, asked politely if it was okay to open the Velux window above us.

"Look, it'll be fine. You're good looking. Trust us. That'll count for more in the long run," counselled the aunt, in an unconvincing ironic tone.

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