Will I ever finally get rid of the first-grader who was convinced she couldn’t do math? (I’m referring to the one in my head, not, like, a neighbor kid or anything. That would be cruel. And possibly illegal, depending on how I got rid of her.) I used to fake stomach-aches so I could skip that part of the day. Obviously I got past a lot of that; I love math. I like to do it and I’m fairly good at it, but last night I read the first chapter of my differential equations book and SO much of it went over my head. I had the same oh-no-I don’t-understand-this-is-hard-what-if-I-can’t-do-it? feeling I used to get. The biggest difference between me-then and me-now (in terms of math, I should say – there are other – way bigger – differences, like I’m no longer four feet tall and I have a job) is that I’m not afraid to ask my professor for help. I’m able to work through the examples, but I don’t understand why. (Why is that equation a solution of the other? What’s the relationship exactly? What makes that one linear and that one non-linear, and what does the order have to do with anything?) I’m fairly certain my questions have short answers (I could be wrong), so I just need to send an email, but this is one of those times the online format is not an advantage. I wouldn’t still have this question if I’d gone over that chapter in a classroom. On the other hand, I can request an e-meeting and get one-0n-one time that’s almost face to face, and then I can ask questions ’til the cows come home (which is CRAZY late – cows are party animals). One way or the other, I’ll ask the questions and hopefully understand the material. Then I’ll go hang out with the cows. We go way back.