I don’t understand the question

Remember those required school tests for vision and hearing?  Once a year during an English class, we were all herded into the library to look through equipment from the 1970s and answer questions about what direction the “E” was facing using 3 fingers and to raise our hand corresponding to the ear we hear the beep in.  And then there was the part I always dreaded because I failed it EVERY time.  The red ball.  Is it inside the box or outside the box.  Simple, right?  No.  Because I never understood the question.  Up until high school, instead of thinking the question was about if the red ball was within the lines of the square or outside the lines of the square, I thought they were asking if the ball was IN the box or OUT of the box.  Like in 3d space.  So the ball was in the middle of the square and I’d be debating where it was in space.  And they passed me every time.  Probably thinking they’ll pass the dumb girl because obviously something’s not right because she can SEE the ball.

Then in high school chemistry we had to make an edible 3d model of an atom.  I spent hours with my mom at Michael’s craft store perplexed by this.  I didn’t understand why this was so difficult for me to figure out and what were the other students doing?  In the end I showed up to class with orbits of twizzlers suspended with fishing wire from a marshmallow ball nucleus and life saver electrons.  What did everyone else do?  Sheet cakes with a frosted atom design.  This never even phased me.  Because frosting on a sheet cake as 3d?  That makes no sense.

This not understanding the question is a repeated theme in my life.  The smallest request becomes a brain teaser because I can distort questions in my head to mean something entirely different.  And most of these questions involve spatial things.  In high school geometry we had a test question that featured 90 feet long howling coyote-like wiener dogs in the desert.  And, no lie, I asked my english teacher (who was the then wife of the geometry teacher) if she really did see these dogs on her honeymoon.  Why did I ask this?  Because spatially, I had no idea how long 90 feet was.

Yeah.  You say I’m a retard, I say my imagination is spatially challenged.  (but really, I can’t be alone in this.)

So I am having the problem again in chemistry.  And I sit in class with a nuclear chemist of a professor who understands numbers and physics as translates into graphs and orbits and my eyes fill up with tears over and over again because I can’t SEE it.  I have no idea what he is talking about because there is no picture in my head and the numbers and letters of the 3 axes we’re dealing with mean NOTHING to me.  Absolutely NOTHING.

And I come home in near tears, again, with boy trying to fix everything.  But he doesn’t understand.  He just wants to fix it.

So I may or may not have heated up some marshmallows in the oven on some foil (I know, but neither of us has a microwave and we were soaking the burner pans in easy off and I was desperate) and may or may not have dumped roasted marshmallows into a bowl of cookie crisp (I would never buy cookie crisp but boy did because of a 2fer at Target he couldn’t resist.)  And I sat in front of the television eating marshmallow and cookie crisp watching Stealing Beauty explaining to boy that for a girl of 15, this was by far the sexiest most romantic movie EVER.  A girl who writes haikus at the top of old newspaper and looks straight into the camera and turns away to inhale a cigarette before tearing off the haiku and holding above a flame and letting her words burn and then, and THEN!  she loses her virginity to the shy Italian boy who wrote her anonymous love letters!  OMG.  How I wish I was Liv Tyler in that movie.  But instead, I am 27 years old, frustrated with learning the stuff I remember learning in high school, eating a bowl of marshmallow and cookie crisp, with a dog wearing a cone around his neck resting his head on my lap.  So to take the humiliation off of me, I will instead put it on Jack.

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1 Comment

Filed under Dog, Life, school

One response to “I don’t understand the question

  1. I tried understanding maths questions by translating dy/dx into language to make sense of maths – also, no one could tell me what those formulae mean in plain language…that’s what happens when one’s mind is ‘language-nuanced’, as evidenced in your case that you write well, with a style of your own…

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