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Oh, no a Math Test!

Updated on March 29, 2011


Heading into one year of unemployment and I was starting to think I would never work again. I was contacted about a position with an after-school learning program for children. The position entailed helping franchisees market their properties. Wow, that sounded different and a bit intriguing!  I agreed to a phone interview.

It went great. I had excellent rapport with the human resources representative and she wanted to move me forward in the interview process. I was so excited and then she said the words most people hate to hear, “You will have to take an English and Math test.” This is the same test given to instructors. The Math would cover everything up to Algebra II. I tried to sound like this was a normal occurrence. I agreed to the test. My test appointment was in one week.

English was no problem.  The thought of taking an Algebra test was making me nauseous.  I thought I was going to hyperventilate. How am I going to prepare for this? Books…the Internet. No, I was going to get a tutor. I am a lucky person to have a candidate for this living in my house. My son, the high school student could help. He is an honor student that has been ahead in Math since the fifth grade. He will help me, I am sure of it. I asked for his help. After he was done laughing, I showed him the list of topics that would be covered that the company representative emailed. Most of it was Greek to me. To him, he learned 95% of it and felt he could review the rest with me after some research. He decided that he would teach me a nightly lesson and then give me homework. We started after dinner. He reviewed the first topic and I seemed to be getting the hang of it. He left me homework for the next day.

 After sending out resumes, I started on my homework. My brain was frozen. What my son taught me was gone. Out of 20 problems, I was able to complete four confidently. I started to cry. I showed the problems to my husband because I felt dumb. He said there was no way he could help. My son’s math genes must be recessive. Some distant relative out there actually knew the Pythagorean theory and how to apply it. Whoever that is; thanks! I was going to have to admit to my son I could not finish my homework. The tide has turned. All those years of me, hounding him to get his homework done and I could not finish 20 problems. He came home. I cried. He consoled me and he worked with me. We did this all week leading up to the test. The day of the test, I took English first. As expected, no problem. Math was a different story. I did the best I could. I answered three of the five pages of problems. The tougher Algebra ones I guessed. There was just too much stress, theories and formulas running through my head. I turned it in and left wondering if I would ever get called back.

A few weeks later, I received a phone call to schedule me for an interview with the department director. I guess my Math and English scores were high enough for me to be considered. In the end, it didn’t work out for me with the position but I know that I have the best math tutor any one could ask for under my roof.


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