I love Alchemists. It’s clever, packed with theme and beautiful artwork, it plays really well and provides a real challenge. But I really struggle with that kind of maths. And by ‘that kind’ I mean any kind. Not what my brain was built for, and no amount of schoolin’ was ever going to fix that.
It wasn’t until many years after I left school that I came to realise just how unsuited the Irish formal education system was to me. Learning that the difficulties I had were more a matter of suitability than relative intelligence was a liberating revelation, but not one that should have come afterwards. Repetition and learning by rote really doesn’t work for me as a method of education, and that’s all that was on offer. All that remains on offer, actually, to people growing up.