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January 26, 2013 / dcwisdom

Facing My Fear of College Algebra

My one huge fear in life:  College algebra!

So, it’s been (I counted) 41 years since I took algebra.  Dang!  That number makes me look old – never mind how it makes me feel!  For 39 years, I avoided it like a plague, hoping something would happen to help me avoid taking the subject – like someone giving me an honorary degree, or someone saying silly old women are exempt from college algebra since they really don’t need it because…well…they’re old! and they won’t use it in life at their age, or it’s a stupid requirement anyway and they don’t have the brain cells for it…  Something like that.  I guess I could have chosen to not return to college, but that action would defeat the purpose of my bucket list.  Because I am old.  Old enough to have a bucket list.

How did I reach this age anyway?

I once feared snakes, but I forced myself to watch them slither around, curl into a slinky, and strike at things.  I still don’t like them, but I don’t run in fear of my life when I happen to see one.  I even caught a baby Copperhead in a jar once.  That wasn’t very frightening.  Shooting cottonmouths (water moccasins) is fun until they charge you.  That’s when I run in fear of my life.

And that’s what I’ve done for 39 years – run, screaming like a girl, from algebra.  Alas, to become a college graduate, I am forced to face my worst fear.  There is absolutely no way I can CLEP (test out for credit) an algebra test.  I tried to figure the odds of taking a multiple choice test with four choices per question and pass at 50%.  I didn’t even know how to formulate a problem for that.

I approached one of my young library board members who graduated from college in December as a math major.  Sarah said, “Debbie, you should CLEP the test.  You can do that.”  No, I can’t, I told her.  There’s been too much water under the bridge.  She answered, “I’m teaching Elementary Algebra [read: remedial math] this semester.  Why don’t you sit in on the class for a review?”

So that’s what I’m doing in preparation for college algebra this summer.  I had my first homework today.  I’m in remedial math trouble already.

But I am facing my fear.  And I will conquer it.  To graduate.  (You know, I always thought that people who write in incomplete sentences just didn’t know how to write a complete sentence.  Now, I realize that some writers do it for emphasis or to make a point.)  I will graduate!

I am not facing math alone, though.  Tonight, I asked the Lord will help me and flipped my Scripture Keys to “Fear.”  This is what it says:

“And the Lord, He goes before me.  He will be with me; He will not fail me or leave me alone.  Don’t be afraid, Debbie, or perplexed.”  Deut. 31:8

“I petitioned the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from my [algebraic] fear[s].”  Ps. 34:4

“[Hey, Debbie] I’m with you always, even to the end of the world [and college algebra].”  Matt. 28:20

“Even the very hairs of your head are numbered.”  [I am the God of all numbers, and I can teach you algebra.]  Luke 12:7

“For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”  [Lord, I need that sound mind for algebra, please.]  II Tim. 1:7

“There is no fear in love.  Perfect love casts out fear.”  [God, I declare that I LOVE algebra!]  I John 4:18

“So that I may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man [algebra] will do to me.”  Heb. 13:6

This semester, these scriptures are my algebraic declaration.  I am a conqueror of algebra through Christ Who strengthens me.  Listen.  This is the way we build ourselves up to face our fears, for without God, we can do nothing.  The Lord is my Great Enabler.

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her!



  1. Vickie / Jan 29 2013 4:50 PM

    Nope, I can’t do algebra. I could do geometry – I’m visual. I can figure out pictures. Algebra is more abstract. Can’t do abstract concepts. You hang in there – YOU CAN DO THIS! Look how far you’ve come already – good that you are taking that remedial class to get started. Remember the “little engine that could” !!! And envision yourself chugging DOWN the hill on the other side of that algebra class! Love ya!

    • dcwisdom / Jan 30 2013 12:21 AM

      Thanks, Chickie, for the encouragement. I’m going to give it the old college try! I think I can, I think I can.

  2. tanna / Jan 26 2013 7:43 AM

    Ironic. Algebra is like working fun puzzles to me. It was Speech that I avoided like the plague and hoped I would be awarded some kind of honorary passing. 😉 LOL! You, the queen of speech, and me, the math nerd. LOL! You can do this!!! I DID survive the speech class at 43 (not that I felt like I was surviving it at the time!! LOL! You go, girl!

  3. jmgoyder / Jan 26 2013 2:09 AM

    Yeeha for you!

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