formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Maybe I'm a Savant...?

I'm not a numbers person. I'm a word person. Math always gave me trouble, from elementary school (fractions?! UGH), through college (I had to take college algebra twice). I hated it. Bad, bad math memories. A couple of years ago I dated a college professor whose office was in my old high school (the building had been purchased by the university). His office was on the ground floor (where all the math and science classes used to be) and when he gave me the tour, I nearly hyperventilated... it was like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To this day (last night), when Ryan asks me to help her with a math problem, I panic. I can usually (sometimes) get the answer, but I've NO idea how to explain my process (aka pulling it out my butt) to her. I. Hate. Math. A. Lot.

I've come to the conclusion, though, that it's only my conscious mind that hates 'rithmatic. My unconscious seems to have no issue with it. And here's why I think that...

I always set the clock in my room ahead. The number of minutes can vary... it's 15 minutes fast right now. I've no idea why I do it (I know changing my clock doesn't actually change time) but I always have. I also set my alarm early. Again the time varies, but right now it's set for 15 minutes before I have to get up... which is, in actuality, 30 minutes before I have to get up, given the aforementioned 15 minute differential. Following me? I know, it's complicated. Again, the alarm thing is something I've always done. Now, what's weird (I know, besides me) is that when I open my eyes in the morning, even if I'm NOT awake (I'm never awake first thing), I can look at the clock and figure the math in a split second to determine exactly how much time (to the second) I can lie there before I absolutely have to get up... and I can do this no matter how many minutes ahead the clock is or how early the alarm is. It takes me 20 minutes to do a 4th grader's math problem, but I can sort out my time issues in my sleep.

I think it's a gift. Sort of like that guy I saw on a TV documentary recently... he's pretty much a non-functioning vegetable otherwise, but sit his butt down at a piano and he can play Mozart like nobody's business. Yeah, I'm just like that.

13 comments:

Protege said...

Diane, my alarm clock is 10 minutes ahead of time, my car clock 20 minutes and the rest of my clocks at the house about 5 minutes. Only my computer shows the correct time as it is set automatically. I am always the first one to arrive everywhere and no matter how hard I try, I am unable to be late. When invited to parties or dinners I always have to drive around the block in order not to arrive too early.;)

Diane said...

I am the EXACT same way! If I'm late, I actually get physically upset and anxious... it's ridiculous. I can't tell you how many times my poor child has run out the door with her breakfast or toothbrush still in hand, so I could deliver her to school, not on time, mind you, but 20 minutes early! But she has her dad's sense of time, which used to drive me NUTS!

Protege said...

I am so happy to have finally found someone with the same time sense as me. I have been suffering my whole life, waiting around for others that are always late and getting neurotic about not being on time myself.:o)

Heinous said...

You're a sleep savant. Perhaps if your child could deliver those math problems to you in your sleep you could really burn through them.

Cari said...

You know both Jon and I ARE math people (professions being Finance Director and DBA) and we set our clock 30 mins fast in our bedroom. I have NO idea why and when we started to do it, but we always do. As my brother in law says (who does the same thing) its knowing when the alarm goes off you don't HAVE to get up, its your choice, you can linger a bit more, stretch etc. And though the rest of our clocks are set normally, we rush out the door nonstop stop, only to be the first to arrive, whether its for work or a party.

Diane said...

It's not the setting the clock ahead that baffles the non-math me... it's how I can figure out the math (add/subtract so I know exactly how much time I REALLY have before I have to get up) when I'm pretty much asleep, but I can't do 4th grade math when I'm wide awake that makes me think I'm weird. Well, OK, that's not the ONLY thing that makes me think I'm weird... it was just the thing that occurred to me this morning.

Shanna said...

LOL this cracks me up!! My oldest daughter is in 4th grade and half the time I have to send her in to ask her dad how to figure out the math. She gets annoyed with me sometimes but jeez, I'm like you and am NOT a math person.

Matt said...

I do the same things with all my clocks and watches. The only time that is correct in my house is the cable box because I don't know how to change it. I hate it when people are late.

If you daughter needs help with math just email the problem. I can help her.

Peace.

Matt

Harper's Mom said...

I do the clock thing in our room but my husband's car is 8 minutes fast. I always feel a sense of relief whenever I drive his car. I need to change mine too.

After college I once substitute taught for my high school math teacher. When a student asked me how to solve a problem I looked at it for a bit and then said I didn't know and she would have to ask the teacher upon his return. She replied, "you stupid." I told her, "yeah, well, I had the same math teacher when I was in high school so go figure!"

Insane Mama said...

I HATE MATH TOO! I honestly think that part of my brain just doesn't work. Thanks for your kind words on my blog

Andy said...

Can you teach me that math skill? Please?

hautepocket said...

Aww, we have a little blog community here in the comments section!

I posses about as much math skill as a retarded worm. Words are my passion, but numbers send me spinning into a world where I try my hardest not to vomit. (P.S. If you think your extra 30 minutes ahead is a problem, consider this: I set my alarm for 5:15. I don't actually get up until 6:30. Take comfort in knowing there are people out there far more nuts than you. :)

katy said...

My clocks, watches, car clock etc are all set to the CORRECT time, is that just a British thing, I totally don't get why you Yanks all have your clocks set ahead of time!!! WHY?!?!?