By Patricia L. Fitzgerald, Editor 2017-11-23 14:11:13
I Had My Own Number—Or So I Thought I AM A WORD GIRL. (THIS IS NOT EXACTLY BREAKING NEWS.) And for much of my youth and well into my adulthood, I believed that my facility for and love of language, reading and writing meant, automatically, that I was “bad” at math. But I’m not bad at math at all. I’m just not particularly fond of math. Years of that skewed self-perception took a toll, as did regular comparisons with friends and coworkers who aren’t just “good” at math—they are great at it. They can gauge purchase discounts, divvy a complex dinner check and calculate full budgets in their heads. I envy them. And I find myself part-defensive, part-apologetic: I can’t do that. I could never do that. My brain isn’t wired that way. It’s okay that I’m bad at math; I’m a word girl. Puh-leeze. If I am honest about my own skills, I’m far from being inept when it comes to numbers. I had better-than-average grades and test scores in school. Today, I can manage a budget at work. I can balance my checkbook at home (without software assistance, mind you). But unless I pursue a radical career change that forces me to fully immerse myself in it, I will probably always be somewhat uncomfortable with the “idea” of math—and, by extension, with the principles of financial management. It’s a shame, because when I do take the time to learn how to read a financial statement, understand the components of a calculation or review the elements of a sales report, then I find I kind of, well….like math and finance. It appeals to the part of me that seeks a linear progression in my writing and editing to be sure that one thought connects to the next seamlessly, logically. It also appeals to the part of me that loves strategic thinking, asking “What story is the data telling and how do we use that story to develop a solution”? I suspect that I just need more practice and patience, and this will translate into confidence and, in turn, to genuine affection. Maybe this word girl could one day become a numbers geek, even after all these years. What about you? Are you ambivalent about reading the articles in this issue, thinking, “That’s just not for me?” Is it simply a matter of confidence that’s holding you back from embracing your inner financial wizard? I urge you to crunch the numbers and find out.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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