Dear 14 Year Old Vikki Crying about Math


Dear 14 Year Old Vikki, I hope this letter finds you on one of those days when being 14 feels like a miracle, when you can't imagine life being any better. I want you to get this letter when you managed to get your bangs just right and your teachers found you particularly clever and you laughed a lot with your friends. I want you to be in a good place because I have some bad news that I need to share with you.

Perhaps you should grab a Diet Pepsi and sit down. And while we're at it, stop drinking that shit. It's bad for you and, though you'll eventually switch to Diet Coke (I know - the horror!) you're hooked on the stuff either way. Someday, they'll discover it actually leads to obesity which sounds absolutely crazy but whatcha gonna do. It's science.

So, back to the news...

You know how Algebra makes you crazy? You know how you sit at the kitchen table with Dad and he tries to explain it to you and you get really mad at him and yell at him that he's "not doing it the right way" and then you cry? You know how you complain constantly about how hard math is for you even though you get good grades and how you plan for a math-free adulthood?

The good news is that the plan works for the most part. You get through high school and go to college and only have to take one math course - Statistics. I know what you're thinking, "How did I avoid math and still get into the nation's top medical school?" Yeah, about don't actually go to medical school but let's not ruin all the surprises. You do go to graduate school though (I'm not going to tell you what you study because you have to figure some of this out on your own) but the school doesn't require you to take any more math! That means you only have that one Statistics course after high school!

Very good news!

But I do feel an obligation to warn you which brings us to the bad news. You will have kids...and those kids will have to do math. I don't know about the  youngest yet because she's not to Algebra yet but the oldest one is just like you. He complains about math all the time and it's hard for him even if he does get good grades. And Vikki, my dear sweet younger self, you will find yourself sitting at the dining room table trying to explain math to him and he will yell at you and tell you that you are "not doing it the right way" and you will say the exact same words that Dad says to you, "But what does it matter if I get the right answer?"

This is to say that your perfectly planned and excecuted math-free adulthood will be wrecked by your children. You are doomed to cry over Algebra even though it's not your work. I'm sorry. I thought you'd want to know.

I have to go because I have to go yell at the kids to go to bed because it's a school night. Hard to imagine, right? Even though I'm living it, it's still sometimes weird for me.

Before I go, just a couple more quick tips:

1. I know you just got your driver's permit but be careful with left turns, especially on that hill by Pierson Park. Also, turn down the Go Go's when you are driving. Don't ask questions--just do as I say.

2. Clean that fish tank! You do not want to know what's going to happen if you don't.

3. Do not open all your Christmas presents while you are home alone. You'll be so disappointed when you open your Disc Camera on Christmas morning. Damn. I just ruined it. So, go ahead and open them but you're going to need another roll of tape to hide your crime.

That's all I have to say for now. Study hard and be careful with that curling iron!


46 Year Old Vikki