Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:25 AM
I'm not a math nerd -- far from it! But i can understand and relate to your problem, and I may be able to help in a different way.
I really struggled in high school with math. I didn't know I had a learning disability that hit me strongest in math until I was in my late 20's. I could work around language stuff, but I couldn't get the basics of the algebra down for the LONGEST time, and I didn't know I was reversing things, and doing other things that muddied the waters. But I did know I hated math and was terrified of it... so I identify with your frustration...
Part of the problem was that I couldn't explain my problem, so it was really hard to get any help! I felt like an idiot! But I knew I wasn't. Back then there weren't any on-line videos (well, there wasn't any on-line!), so all I could do was work through work books on my own and pray for a miracle.
God did send me that miracle... but not in the way I expected.
I didn't have any plans to go to college, but God intervened.... like you with the GED, I needed to at least start college and be doing OK to go forward with what God wanted me to do. That meant I had to pass an 'elementary math' test at colllege. Once I had that taken, it won me the right to take another math class. Lovely.
I was so tempted to give up... but God and I worked out a plan. This is what I did... maybe some of it will help.
Learning math is really like learning reading. if someone doesn't know how to read letters, or how to break a word into syllables, it is almost impossible to learn to read harder books. In the same way, trying to do algebra if you are missing some of the steps will be really hard.
I realized that part of my problem was that I was missing some really basic math concepts I should have learned years before. You may find that part of the problem is that you are missing some basic steps... you will have to look into that for yourself.
First, I got hold of a 'diagnostic test' for basic arithmetic and gave it to myself. (They have some in study work books for lkids) If you feel you can talk to a teacher or someone who tutors people, they will be able to help you find some of these. You want to find a test that will help you pinpoint what areas you are missing.
I was in my late 20's.... and it was humbling to have to face that while I might read at a college level, my math really was at about 4th grade level. I knew some of it - but my math-mind was like a swiss coagulated milk with a lot of holes. But I needed to pass that test, and I knew that I needed to pass it to get on with what God wanted me to do. OK, that helped. It was the reality; this was what God's will for me looked like TODAY..
I started back with the 4th grade math work books and started doing the problems. No I am not kidding. I played with flash cards. I did what I needed to do to get down the stuff I missed. Learned decimals and fractions. Some of it I got fast... other stuff was really frustrating, and I wanted to toss the books across the room a lot of times (ok, truth - I DID toss them a lot of times!)(and cried and screamed when I was by myself sometimes!) But I found that as I worked on my math, my patience and humility grew... and I was becoming more confident. As I worked on my math, I got the miracle I sought. I learned to push myself lovingly, but to not push too hard. But I learned to recognize my own frustration signals... when I needed to stop... to go for a walk, get a drink, and come back to it and be patient with myself as I learned to do the problems step by step. It took time, but slowly I started to get it. I started to understand the new language. I practiced the discipline - the penance really! - of doing 1 hour of arithmetic... and later algebra... and geometry... every day. Even on vacations and Christmas!!!! It was frustrating, but I kept it up, and I offered my 'homework' to God as a gift... and targeted souls to pray for. Would not have been the penance I would have chosen for myself, but it proved a good one for me!!!
Sometimes I got frustrated. I learned that the thing to do was to go back a step. It was hard, it was humbling, but I could see progress. Pretty soon -- in just a few months! -- I was up to 8th grade level! I celebrated--I had just passed 4 grades in 1 year! Wheee! At 29 I was finally where I should have been at 13--but it was progress!
Then it was time to tackle Mt. Algebra. Oh joy! The first thing I learned was that I needed to SLOW DOWN even further!!!! Why? Because now I was working in new territory.... and if I tried to take any short cuts, or go forward when I wasn't sure, I would miss something. I never got great at math, but I learned what I needed to to pass the test I needed to pass. Took me a year, but I did it.
Truth time -- Like 171, I liked geometry better, and chose college math that built on that strength! You'll figure out where your strengths are as you work the problem. You'll even learn that if you know how to do MOST of the problems, you can skip a few and still get a good enough grade to pass. There are some problems I know I don't get... and I don't stress over them.
I never thought I would go to college -- much less graduate school! When God made it clear I needed the graduate school degree - I had to do statistics. Oh no..... but you know what.... what I had learned about slowing down, writing down every step, practicing, got me through my stats class, too. And I think you can do this.
(I know you don't think you'll want to go to college, but God may have some surprises for you.... and he certainly wants you to tackle the GED, right?)
Now.... If I were a little devil, I'd try to tell you it was hopeless, and that God didn't love you, and that you'll never make it through your test and that means you'll never make it into the seminary. And you know what.... that devil would have fun doing it to you, 'cause he's a mean little devil. But they lie, and they tell you half truths... and that is what that fear is. The REAL truth is that you don't have to do anything today more than just spend some time on one math problem.... and that is what God's will looks like today. You don't even have to get the answer right... you just need to try to do it for love of God. And you'll scare him back if you laugh at him and tell him that you are happy to do this math problem for some soul that needs the graces. So don't let some silly devil scare you. God will see you through if you can learn to trust Him enough to do it one day at a time.
So, yes, this about Math... but it is about a whole lot more. Good stuff to talk about with your new director, too!
I'm praying for you... and I think you can do this.