Voices of the Village People: Vanessa Raphaely was a Maths Lit Snob … and lived to regret it.




Are you a Maths Lit snob? I was, and lived to regret it.

By Vanessa

Before I put the revolting stress of the last 6 months firmly in my rear mirror, I want to share our experience with maths vs maths lit with you, oh poor fellow beleaguered Matric university dreaming parents.

I have a super arty kid. Until Grade 11 she was a 60s and sometimes 70s ( with a lot of work and tutoring) Maths student.

At the end Grade 11, in the eye of the storm which happens to many teenage girls, we changed a lot of things in her life … but not maths.

I asked her maths teacher about maths lit, he said absolutely not and put her in the top maths stream.

After many hours of maths tutoring and more $$$$$ than I care to admit… prelims and finals.

Prelims maths was bad. Finals worse. Her worst mark ever. And so bad that her university acceptance hung in the balance.

She got in – after her DEPARTMENT lobbied the faculty, advocating fiercely, I’m told, on her behalf, for a waiver of her maths mark.

Nail biting.

And totally unnecessary. Core maths is not a prerequisite for her chosen discipline.

I wish I hadn’t been a snob.

There … I’ve said it.

If I’d allowed her to switch she would have had all the advantages and rigor of 10 and 3/4 years of core and then would have had a few months learning some very sensible and useful content ( how to budget, basics taxes etc) and might have had a much easier run into finals – and into university.

Hell. If she’d done maths lit all the way she’d have had more time and confidence to concentrate on her stronger subjects.

I’d have around R10 000 that I spent in the last year on her tutors to spend on taking her and me somewhere lovely for a nice post-matric celebration weekend.

I would totally do it differently, if I had another kid with her skill set.

Just a thought.

Now maths is firmly in her rear view mirror.

Pass me a double, no make it a triple, Jack Daniels plz.

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