Archives for posts with tag: Education

Feminist Psychology Space Time Tanks

I’m rethinking this blogging stuff.

Actually, what I’m really thinking about is being flexible.

And not in that “oh, you’re so flexible” yoga sort of way. Or maybe I am. Maybe the physical flexibility we look for in our asana practice is really just a way to contemplate the flexibility we need to have in our lives. The flexibility to live with change. New circumstances. Sudden hairpin curves on the road of life. You know what I mean.

And so I’m rethinking this blogging stuff.

In two weeks time I’ll begin graduate school at Sofia University. I’m chasing a master’s in transpersonal psychology. I’d thought about attending Sofia for the past few years but didn’t think I was smart enough, had enough time or enough money. And so I spent a few years twiddling my thumbs and signing up for courses that didn’t feed my heart and brain the way my heart and brain need to be fed.

Turns out I am smart enough, I can make time and graduate student loans are easy to come by.

But something will have to give. So, for now, Your Weekly Prompt is on hiatus.

Originally Your Weekly Prompt was Your Daily Prompt and my intention was to post every day – a photograph, a poem, an essay or maybe just one word. Anything that might set the creative wheel in motion for anyone who happened upon the page. As for what it might do for me, I hoped it would support my writing by encouraging discipline. And it sorta kinda did – until 2012 took a hairpin turn to the left and every thing I thought I was going to do pulled over to the shoulder of the road to accommodate everything that I did do.

If you follow Your Daily Prompt I hope you’ll follow Practically Twisted.

Practically Twisted will be pulling double duty for the time being. Keeping track of my yoga life, my writing life and my non-existent love life. Should be fun.

I remember when I abandoned math.  I was in front of the black board, my back to the twenty-eight fourth graders behind me.  Miss Kuntz had given me a problem to complete and as my struggle to find the right answer became more and more obvious to my classmates the whispering from the two boys behind me grew more intense.

“She can’t do it.”

“She’s stupid.”

“She’ll never get it right.”

Distracted by their snide giggling I turned around and hissed,

“Shut up!”

But it was too late. My concentration was broken.  I held the chalk between my fingers with so much force my fingers began to cramp.  Finally, knowing I’d never have the answer and a breath away from a full blown panic attack, I mumbled to Miss Kunz “I can’t do it” then walked away from the board, sat down and hid my tears.

At least that’s how I remember it happening.

From that moment I was certain –  numbers and math, adding and subtracting and everything else that went along with it – I was no good at and never would be.

In a few years time I would be in high school on a college prep trajectory.  I was expected to take algebra, geometry and trigonometry. And I did.  But I remember nothing of those classes except how they filled me with dread.  Anxiety.  Loathing.

Finally, about two months into my junior year, when it became clear that trigonometry was edging me ever closer to a minor nervous breakdown, I was pulled from Mr. Loy’s class and placed in consumer math.  Math for dummies.  So I was right all along.

No matter.  Who needs to know all that stuff anyway?

It took a few decades of life experience for me to realize the truth but as it turns out – I need to know all that stuff.

I take no pride in the fact that I managed to earn a college degree without a single math class.  My trick?  Earth science.  I took so many classes in geometry, biology and meteorology I had enough credits to qualify for a minor.

And yet, until a month ago I had no idea how to convert decimals to fractions or fractions to decimals (to be honest it still takes a bit of thinking for me to figure it out).  I can manage adding and subtracting, division and multiplication – as long as no one is waiting for the answer.

I lost the confidence I had in my ability to “do numbers” back in fourth grade, back in Miss Kuntz’s class.  And I gave up trying to find it.

I told myself mathematics would never be easy for a girl like me.  I was too “right brain” (a theory in neuroscience that recently has been put in doubt); I loved art and history and writing – what did any of that have to do with angles and tangents?

I’m going to find out.

I could have gone with Kahn Academy, the brilliant online series of lectures and lessons.  But I like paper.  I like black ink and no fancy colors.  So I bought a book:  Mathematics – A Liberal Arts Approach.

Published in 1964, everything about it – from the type font to the texture of the pages to the cool sheen of the cover and even the scent – it summons a sense of nostalgia that is comforting and not confrontational.  Open the first page and this is what you’ll read…

Introducing:  Mathematics

This book is your friend.

A friend takes you by the hand and introduces you to people and things he thinks you will like.  A friend tells you about things you ought to know.  A friend stays with you when you need help.

Any friendship goes two ways.  Give this book your careful attention and you will be well rewarded.

I hope so.

The wool cap warms a chilly day

Had this now since forty-four  he says

Before I left for war  (the Navy)

Seven months tomorrow he says

then says I didn’t know it would be this lonely

I see the empty space beside him

then spill

down the front of my tee shirt

words that land

by the dog at his feet

and I see the empty space beside him

where she stood for sixty years

and I am quiet

I was having a nap yesterday afternoon he says

a knock woke me up he says

and when I opened the door I was so surprised it wasn’t her