Nostalgia

I was just looking at some baseball statistics, starting from Alfonso Soriano, prompted by my receiving mail from another of the same surname. I remember I was a keen baseball fan in grade school, and would watch almost every single game. I didn’t like studying at all, and I was even the kid who didn’t do his homework. In third grade, there was this animal project, where we had to write some report on some Australian animal, and I was the only kid who didn’t complete it by the deadline (in fact, I barely did anything). I got a low grade on it at the end for finishing like two weeks after, and I was super embarrassed about that. Surely, my parents weren’t very happy with me. Amazing how even to this day I still know the names of many of the best players from back in that day. Ichiro, Barry Bonds (steroids), Mark McGuire, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, etc.

I think my having been rather problematic in grade school was a major cause of my low self-esteem as a kid, which persisted for quite a while. Another that I remember vividly was how in junior high, there was this kid who was in all honors classes and also high up in band who had a rather domineering personality. In 8th grade honors English/history, which I almost certainly ended up with a B in, that kid was considered one of the best students in that class. I was in two years accelerated math in 8th grade, and I remember that kid would almost always get better test scores and grades than I did, except it was bullshit core math with graphing calculators and “showing your work.” That teacher gave me a really hard time (because I was pretty fucking ADHD), and I got in trouble multiple times. Once in history class, that aforementioned kid, when sitting next to me, went presumptuously: “I’m probably the smartest person in this school.” Surely, that didn’t make me feel good at all.

What surprised me was that that kid began struggling in math in high school. Right after the AP calculus AB test (which I didn’t even take, since I had learned the BC material on my own essentially), he was like: “it felt like death!” In senior year, when we were doing convergence and divergence of series, where we had to determine and justify, that guy was complaining: “this is like hit or miss!” By then, I had realized that there were more or less systematic ways of proceeding about that. I could sense that he was super bitter about his struggle, as he had always expressed a strong desire to pursue a career in engineering (as if that actually uses much math), though he tried to pretend like he didn’t care or that math is pointless. Predictably, now he is a product manager.

In contrast, now I am basically doing PhD level math, and not even finding it that difficult, and I would not be surprised if I manage to do some legit math research. I’ve sure changed a ton, and I never would’ve expected that, especially based on what I had been like in grade school.

Sorry if I sound like an arrogant, narcissistic douchebag. I was just nostalgic, after all.

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