Pitfalls of math; not for all

Do you want to know why I chose Gannon’s physician assistant program of all the other ones that I got accepted to?
I didn’t have to take an advanced math class. That was the deciding factor for me.
My parents were impressed by the gross anatomy lab and high placement rates, but I was blown away that I wouldn’t have to take a high-level math class.
I was never bad at math, but I struggled to get some of the tougher concepts, and hated learning about it.
The worst situation I could possibly find myself in was to know how to do a problem, but make a hundred tiny mistakes in my basic math and then get the whole thing wrong.
Once we were allowed to use calculators in high school this went away somewhat, but nontheless, I constantly made tiny dumb errors that would end up burning my bacon in the long run.
In the PA program, the only math that we are required to take is statistics, which in and of itself is not a difficult time.
When it came time for me to take it, I had already got a couple semesters of not having to take math tests in a classroom under my belt, so I certainly didn’t want to go back to the way things were in high school.
With this in mind, I signed up for an online class over the summer. This turned out to be a blessing and a curse.
It was a blessing because I could use my calculator at all times and do the work from the comfort of my home, and the whole course only took a month.
It was a curse because the workload was much greater than I first thought, and I spent most of my vacation in Virginia Beach that year in the hotel room working on statistics.
Trust me, when you have hated math since the second grade, the last thing that you want to be doing is staying inside on beautiful sunny days while your family is at the beach to work on your homework, but regarless, I perservered and attempted to get my work done.
Even a paid Chegg account didn’t help me get through the material faster.
Once the course was over, I felt a sense of relief sweep over my body, the likes of which I haven’t felt since.
With my statistics class out of the way, I was sure that I wouldn’t have any more math to do in my college career, aside from the occasional unit conversion or other easy problems like that.
Enter Human Genetics.
I was completely unaware that this class would have so much math.
Probabilities of inheritance are quickly making their way into my nightmares.
Never before have I had so many word problems shoved into my lap at once, and I am freaking out.
Just when I think I have one of these concepts down, I get another problem set that proves just how wrong I was.
My calculator from high school has quickly become my best friend, as I make sure that two plus two still equals four, because I do not trust myself to do even the simplest of math in my head.
You would think that with the sheer amount of useless knowledge and fun facts in my brain, I would be able to do simple addition and subtraction with some kind of consistency, but my quiz scores will assuredly tell you otherwise.
I have an exam Thursday that will tell once and for all if I am at least semi competent when it comes to genetics probability problems, so I’m going to need everyone reading this to wish me luck.
I’m most definitely going to need it.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
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