Attack of The 50 Pound GED Book

I’ve been flipping through my wayward GED book today. It came in today along with some birthday stuff from Mama (it was shipped to North Carolina by accident, and my mother was kind enough to send it down). I kind of want to mention the birthday stuff, but I think I’ll wait, since my birthday isn’t until tomorrow. Seems kinda wrong somehow to talk about them the day before.
I was going to work through some of the pre-tests in the GED book to figure out which stuff I’m supposed to work on (the stuff I’m weakest on). But I finally realized that I don’t need pre-tests to tell me that. My weakness is mathematics, because I never took Algebra classes in school (I wasn’t allowed to). And even though I studed some basic Algebra concepts back in the day and helped people with their Algebra homework, that was a long damned time ago. I skimmed over the mathematics pre-test until my eyes rolled back into my head and I started twitching. I figured it might be best to wait on that.
Well, I knew this going into it. I finally realized that there’s no need for me to take the pre-tests in the book, because I’m determined to go through the different subjects one at a time anyway. Why take a pre-test to determine whether or not I need to study on a particular subject when I’m going to study that particular subject regardless? That’s cognitive reasoning, my friends, and I’m glad I decided to save myself some time. Except that when I realized there was no point in my taking the pre-tests, the voice of a great philosopher popped into my head and said “Doh!”.
I’m looking forward to working through this book. I’ve always loved learning, and there are a lot of things that were left out of my brief formal education. I don’t just want to study to pass the GED exam, I want the knowledge. I could skip the GED exam and still want the knowledge. But I figure you might as well get the certificate, right? Especially when you can’t flip hamburgers at McDonald’s these days without at least a GED.
Anyway, this stuff fascinates me. I may be planning to get my GED, but in the long term I also plan to take a correspondence high school course so that I’ll be able to learn all this more in-depth.
Don’t get me wrong, folks. Most people who learn that you didn’t graduate high school automatically assume that you’re a dullard who can’t string together a coherent sentence. I don’t think anyone who actually knows me can dismiss me as a dullard. But there are bits and pieces missing from the education that I gave myself, and dammit, I want to fill in the gaps.
It’s funny, the one thing I keep thinking about is how much I loved mathematics when I was in the 6th and 7th grades. It just all made sense to me. But when, because of various circumstances, the 8th, 9th and 10th grades became mind-numbing repetition, that love of mathematics kind of receded. I mean, how many times can you spend a year going over addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions before you want to strangle someone and scream “Okay, I got it! Jesus Christ!”.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m kind of excited to get to cozy up to numbers again. No, I didn’t take algebra in school, but it’s not rocket science. At least not from what I’ve seen. Maybe algebra is just a systematic way of taking the long way around. After all, I’ve already learned that the number 173,000 written in scientific notation is 1.73 x 105. Not that anyone can really tell me why it’s not easier just to write “173,000”. But why ask why, right? And if you think I’m not that clever for not knowing how to write “173,000” in scientific notation, I challenge you to figure out the HTML code that allowed me to make that number 5 after the number 10 display in superscript.
Intelligence is subjective. I’ve known a lot of highly educated idiots. And I’ve known a lot of very intelligent people who can barely read. “Educated” doesn’t necessarily mean “smart”, anymore than “uneducated” means “stupid”.
Okay, I’m rambling. All I really wanted to say was that I’m kind of excited about going through this book. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out certain things on my own that my teachers were never able to fully explain. I mean, come on, what the fuck is a conjunction, really? And how did I learn to sing “conjunction junction, what’s your function” without learning it?
Now that I’ve put that song into some of the old-timers’ heads, I’m going to go curl up with my GED book and start working toward my final solution and Diabolical Plan #42.75.

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