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Isabel Sanchez

I do not want this handicap anymore…

By Isabel Grima Sanchez, (Spain, Boston University) 10/29/2017

Today I failed miserably another exam, after spending hours and hours preparing for it. All that effort is just a beautiful 49/100. Here I am crying in front of my computer. I just feel like a failure, a big stupid failure. Why can I not just memorize the rules and the numbers? Or just not messing everything up on the piece of paper? I do not ask for that much. 

I love science, the way life and nature works, genetics, reactions, chemistry. Everything is so simple in science, you see it, your test it and then a conclusion. Practical. Fast. Beautiful.

Math is just…nothing. No shape, no reference, just weird symbols that are supposed to mean something. All that rules, all that mental calculus, for nothing but black space in my mind. I am very visual, I can tell how I look with my tears running down my checks, how they fall onto my desk, into my hands as I write. I can imagine one hundred worlds, be a God or a peasant, daydream all day to escape this lame and limited existence.

They try to help, to make you understand their hollow concepts. They say they will give me more time. More time for what? Let me tell you for what:  for messing more numbers, for overthinking, for forgetting, for fear, for stress, for pain. They do not understand. How can they? They are math teachers, passionate for numbers, all the rules clear in their brains, just as ingrained as breathing. I feel their
judgment. I can feel how they think: “Is this person for real? She is just faking it, she is lazy”. Let me tell you something, your passion is my torture, as easy as it seems for you, it feels like drowning for me, I do not need your judgment, I already have mine. And believe me, it is enough to last me for ten lives.

"Why did you choose a Biomedical Engineering mayor? Maybe this is not for you, you know? Maybe you should drop this class?" I love Bio, I love the practical part of Chem, and I love life. People say that since I have Dyscalculia, I have no “right” to study a science or engineering program. I am in Boston University. I came all way from Spain to study here, in a better place. If I have to sweat blood to get my diploma, I will do it.

It is not a problem of effort or motivation, even though I will admit that sometimes I just want to hide in a corner and cry, like now. I do not want to be like this anymore, I did not choose to be dyscalculic. Some gene or God, whatever you prefer, forced this into me.
Tell me please, why do I have to struggle? Why does anyone in a similar situation like me have to struggle? For what purpose? 

Here I am, at eight passed one a.m., with dry tears on my face, my roommate sleeping peacefully behind my back, and the only thing that comes into my head is that I do not want this handicap anymore.