Ah, yes, academia. Waking the brain after several years of... I won't say "rest" because that's not really true... several years of... let's say a comfortable routine... has not been all that easy in certain areas. Some of the "areas" to which I'm referring include math.
Now, don't get me wrong, I was pretty good at math in high school, and college too for that matter. In eighth grade I was even in "MathCounts," one of those geeky competitions for kids who can't think of a good enough excuse to convince their parents that they shouldn't have to participate. But we all know what happens to the brain as it falls into a routine. Atrophy. When I graduated from college, taking a derivative was like breathing. Now I have to stuggle just to remember the order of operations. (Remember that from seventh grade? Exponents first, division and multiplication second, addition and subtraction third... oh, boy.) And it's only been four years. If ya don't use it, you lose it, I suppose.
It seems that no matter where I am in life, I always seem to want to put myself in a situation where I'm not comfortable anymore. And we ask ourselves: "Why?"