Thursday, September 25, 2008

Algebra and the Art of Forgetting

Algebra has become a foreign language to me. A million years ago I was an ace algebra student. I would pour over my problems. It was a puzzle and I was it's master. I was the secret agent who decoded the message. I knew how to figure out what x and y were. Now I look at my daughter's homework and it makes no sense to me. Did they change the words? How come I don't remember any of the terms she uses? The only x's and y's I can recall are from my amnio's. Where did all this information I knew so well go to?

I have a theory. My brain has filled up and to make room, it has stored this old data that wasn't being used. These are stored in that "safe place". Of course sometimes the old retrieval system overrides this and you have those deja vu moments where horrible embarrassing things relive in your mind and you have then anxiety feeling where your internal organs feel like they dropped out of your butt. Anyway, I can remember all kinds of random things that can be very handy when you are playing Trivial Pursuit (Rob and I make an awesome TP team) but don't do you much good when your kid needs homework help. Hurrah for my husband who never seems to forget anything but can't seem to see that tools need to be put away and my family room is not a bike shop.

So just like the rest of my life I can't find that "safe place" in my brain anymore than I can find that "safe place" I put important stuff to use later in my house. My only consolation is that those memories of where the safe places are are being stored in that safe place in my brain that is lost too. It's a vicious circle that frustrates me until I forget it.... What was I talking about again?

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