I have recently begun to regret my lack of knowledge in mathematics and decided that although 26 is a little old to try to pick up the subject I absolutely need to try. To be honest I have had no mathematical education since 8th grade, which is incredibly embarrassing. At that time I took algebra and was very good at it but when I transferred districts to go to high school I was put in a remedial pre-algebra class due to a technicality in transferring despite the A I achieved. Being new in a rough city and school I learned to cheat and make friends rather then advance in the subject. I never got back up to the level I aced in 8th grade, which in retrospect is heartbreaking on many levels.
My natural interests revolve around the concepts learned in science and physics but without knowledge of mathematics I find that I do not know the language of the subjects I am so drawn to. Given my age and background I am more then a little intimidated by classes offered at the local college and, as is my nature, would like to find a way to learn the subject on my own. I keep thinking that for all I know I might be great at it. Thirteen years is a long time to put a subject down though and I have no idea where to start. Can anyone recommend a good, basic book or software program? I try to exercise each area of my brain and it really bothers me that I have let such an important part go to waste for so long. Sorry this isn't a typical math question, but any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!