Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I've been hitting a "blogger block", so decided to google ideas to spice up my blog (you know it's bad when you get bored with your own blog!). I found a blog with many different topics. They seemed silly at first, then I thought, yeah, why not. I chose to write about my worst subject.

The minute I tell people I'm an engineer, they immediately blur out "wow, you must be very smart" or "you must really like math". Well, I'm not smarter than the average person, and my IQ would prove it.

So imagine their surprise when I tell them, my worst subject, the one I hated the most throughout my entire educational experience, was math.

I vividly remember one night in Elementary school. I think I was in second grade at the time, and we were learning long division. My sister Joyce had volunteered to help me (she is way smarter!), and show me an easy way to do it.
We sat at the dinner table, and she started to show me how to work the problem and gave me a couple of problems to solve. As I became more and more frustrated, I began to cry, and as I began to cry, I became angry with myself because I was crying. You get the idea. I was a sobbing mess. I could not understand how anyone could think learning long division would be beneficial to anyone. Had they ever heard of calculators? Joyce patiently kept waiting for me to stop sobbing, and finally I "got it".

After it was all over, I recalled making a promise to my mother, I was never going to study anything that required me to do math. I was going to choose a career as far away from math as possible.

Little did I know I would end up breaking that promise.

Perhaps I am a masochist, I don't really know. I liked school from the very first day my parents dropped me off in kindergarten class. I liked making good grades, other subjects came easy for me. I wasn't about to let math ruin my grades, so I made it a point to study harder for that subject than for any others. I wanted to maintain good grades, and by golly, math would not get the best of me.

So it began, my love/hate relationship with math.

My senior year in high school came and it was time to think about college, and possible majors. I really liked chemistry, more than any other subject, but I didn't want to work in a lab. As fate would have it, my teacher at the time took our class to a conference about women in science and engineering. That's where I had the most brilliant idea of my life: I would study chemical engineering. It involved chemistry (which I loved ) and math (which I loathed). Besides, the salaries were appealing, why not give it a shot?

So I embarked into a long journey with my worst enemy. We had our rough times, but I would not let "it" get the best of me, or get in the way of achieving my goal. I would not quit because of it. I have scar battles ( and several dead brain cells) but I won the war. I finished my degree in engineering.

In second thought, maybe I am a masochist. As if one degree in engineering wasn't enough, I went back for more. A master's in engineering. Maybe hate turned to love in the end?