i used to believe

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I thought that if I spent enough time, I could write the biggest number in the world. So I took a piece of chalk and wrote a 1, and then started following it with lots of zeros. (By the way, I was writing on the outside of my house, which didn't make my dad very happy!)

When I had written enough zeros, I proudly showed it to my Dad, who, after calming down from yelling at me about writing on the house, said, "Whatever number you write, I can write a bigger number." I said, "No you can't", and to prove me wrong he took the chalk and drew another zero. Then it dawned on me that there is no largest number!

This led to "infinity" matches with my sister. She would say something involving "infinity", and I would respond with "infinity times infinity" and she would retort with "infinity times infinity plus a googol" and so on ad infinitum!

Kdees
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I used to believe that there were only 100 peple in the whole world. I remember being very confused sitting in School assembly when I was about 6 and realising that there were more than 100 people in the room.

Lesley
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It seems I'm not the only person to have assigned genders to the numbers. I took it a step further though, and imagined them as members in a family. For me, 1 is male, 2 is female, but they are also the little brother and sister, and don't get along. 4 is male and the "cool-guy" teenager who doesn't say much. 5 and 6 are husband and wife, with 6 wearing the pants in the family because she is bigger. 8 and 9 are the old aunts who never got married so they live together and have a bunch of cats (Like Patty and Selma from "The Simpsons"). 10 is the grandpa (Six's dad) who tries to keep everyone under control but mostly just shakes is head and mumbles alot. After ten, we get talking about the extended family... Don't get me started.

Shan
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When I was 6 I thought my maths teacher was stupid because she wrote the plus sign the wrong way round.
It took me a while to grasp multiplication.

zooey
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I thought "dozen" was a gigantic number, much bigger than a thousand or a million. My teacher got very confused when I told her that there must be a dozen atoms on the eraser of my pencil if there were millions on the tip.

Rachel
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I used to believe there were numbers called "onety" and 'twoty." I thought "twoty-nine" came before twenty.

CC
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I used to believe that the numbers had personalitys and had relationships with each other.
1-- was competing with 2 for 3's love.
2-- was competing with 1 for 3's love.
3-- was the object of affection of 1 and 2.
So to make them happy, I would make the number 132.
4-- loved 6
5-- didn't like the 4 loved 6 and tried to break them up
6-- loved four
5 was my least favorite number so he never got a pair.
7--loved 8
8--loved 7
9--lonely spinster
10-loud, fun, outgoing. 9's sister.
I did the same with colors.

Anon
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when i was little i somehow got the idea 20 was the highest number. i made my mom count to twenty for my dad and then proclaimed "and that that's the last number!" i didn't understand why my parents laughed

Anon
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I learned to count with a deck of cards. When I got to school and was asked to count, I went "Ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king, ace."

Marie
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I used to think that the multiplication table on the back of my notebook was a calendar. I used to cross off the days until I noticed that it would become a smaller date. I assumed it was another month then.

I thought one month had 144 days, but the days went by very randomly (12, 24, 36..)

Jess
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I used to think that any number with a decimal point in it was HUGE.

sm
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When I was in kindergarten, I thought "blast-off!" was the same as "zero," because I saw a sketch of a rocket launching on Sesame Street. So, when we practiced counting backwards out loud in school, I'd say "blast-off!!!" instead of zero. Neither the teacher nor my mother bothered to correct me, because they thought it was cute. :)

Emily
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I once went camping with a family of friends of the family (confusing, ain't it?) and they just so appened to have a three year old daughter. One night she woke me up and alerted me she had to use the bathroom. On the way back to our camp ground, I asked her if she could count for me (that sort of thing makes little kids proud). So she began counting. This is how she counted:

1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10... 7... 8... 9... 10... 7... 8... 9... 10... and so on.

She continued to count like this until I don't know when. All I know is that I fell asleep before she stopped and she started to count again when my dad asked her the same question the next morning.

Marshmello Da Strawberry Cow
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when i was little, concepts and inanimate objects were either nice or mean. My favorite things to classify according to mood were numbers and colors. my least favorite number was five, because it was an odd number, and it just sounded mean. I decided that five was a really mean old librarian. My favorite number was two...she was a princess. One was a nerdy tall guy in a green suit, and seven was a nosy man who liked to look over fences at what the neighbors were doing. I had issues.

rebecca
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I used to think that the abbreviation lb (for pounds) stood for Lilla-blams (like Kilograms)

Jake
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Though I knew that numbers were just numbers, negative numbers were somewhat evil to me. They messed up entire equasions by changing signs, and were just plain evil. I always liked cancelling negatives or adding larger positives to negatives to make them positive. To this day, I still enjoy getting rid of negatives.

your cat
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That the multiplication tables were made up by someone just like someone decided how to spell words. I just learnt them by heart, never understanding that 4 times 5 really makes 20.

Tintomara
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In first grade, I distinctively remember the teacher saying 'We're going to learn about odd and even numbers... 7 is odd' some kid near me asked -to anyone listening- why 7 was odd. I answered 'of course 7 is odd, look at it.' I had the idea of odd and even numbers, but I thought the odd ones were the weird looking ones.

Meredith
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i used to think that 0 and 1 were the same thing, with different names. i was sure i was right, so i kept correcting the teacher everytime she asked me what 11 minus 3 was.

anastacia beeverhousen
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When I began learning about algebra, I didn't understand what was so hard about it or why there were so many problems. Once you knew that "x" was the 24th letter of the alphabet, why did you need to solve for it? It would obviously always just equal 24.
I thought that algebra just meant memorizing which letter (a-z) coordinated with which number (1-26). Don't we wish life was that simple?

Kristin
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