I don’t do maths. Can’t do maths. I hate numbers and am bordering on phobic. Numbers make me feel stupid. I have blogged before about my lack of a maths GCSE (or technically speaking lack of an O level as GCSEs hadn’t been invented. Yes, I really am that old). I make no secret of it, or the fact I am not terribly academic. It’s a fact. I am not looking for sympathy or messages of contradiction telling me “oh but you are”. I didn’t do A levels, hell I barely scraped five O levels, a similar number of CSEs (the equivalent of a foundation GCSE).
Remember that BT advert in the 80s where grandma, Maureen Lipman, congratulates her son “oh but you got an ology. Everybody needs ologies”. Well that is me. Biology (don’t snigger), psychology, sociology, palaeontology. Okay maybe I lied about the last one but suffice to say I am more at home with the social sciences than I am with the more cerebral stuff.
So I am not quite sure how this came about but on Saturday night the teens decided that I was going to sit a GCSE maths paper. You can print them off the internet and see for yourself just how stupid you are. Which is how during the Splash final I was presented with the paper, a compass, protractor, ruler, pencil, rubber and black biro.
I broke out into a cold sweat. I was 15 and in a cold sports hall again. Not kneeling on my living room floor with my phone, laptop and calculator confiscated.
The first of the questions were relatively easy. Measure this line, work out this angle, find 380 on this line. This bit I can sort of do. And I can really do menu selections (why is that even on a maths paper? Ask me how many permutations of the menu there are and let me give you a number, but just asking for them?!).
Then it just got stupid.
Questions about how many slabs Robert would need to make a new patio. Why doesn’t Robert just ask the chap in B&Q who’s job it is to know these things? Why do I need to know that?
Pointless. That’s what most of the questions were. Pointless. One about what was the maximum number of shortcake biscuits you could make with ingredients that had been factored up. But all the ingredients had different factors so it didn’t look like a proper recipe.
And why I only got 59%. Almost half of it wrong. That bit of maths I can do. A D apparently.
Whatever. I have got three ologies so how big does your pipe need to be for me to roll them all up and stick them in that then, maths?
Huh? Work that one out for me.