All of You Who Enjoy Math…

Go away. Seriously. Just leave.

No, I’m kidding. Stay so I can use you to improve my grade share with you what I’ve been struggling with as of late.

I considered posting my failing quiz grade, but I wouldn't want to be accused of sharing answers if someone were to find my blog. So, here you go.

The first person to explain how finding the trajectory of a projectile will be useful to me as a future English major will receive a mention in my next personal post. I doubt anyone could pull off such a feat, so, it’s okay if you don’t try.

I mean, it’s not like I hate math – I appreciate all of the obvious things it’s done for us and how miserable our lives would be without it. It’s just that I’m horrible at it. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and as someone who comes from a family of math geniuses, my inability to perform well when it comes to arithmetic disturbs me. I’ve even created a list to count how many times Precalculus Honors has made me cry this year (which I will include in a future post… maybe).

I believe that it takes an innate disposition to be good at math. Sure, one can practice the problems repeatedly (like I do), but if they fail to implement the concepts correctly on exams (like I do), then they fail. This amazing article touches on the relationship between math and English, and let me tell you that besides the fact that they are both forms of pure logic and thinking, they do not have many other similarities.

I’m done ranting now. Do you like math or do you dislike it? Do you believe math is something that can be mastered with practice of does it require something that an individual is born with? I think I’m going to go ruminate over the fact that Justin Bieber is supposedly similar to me… thanks, Twitter.

My ideal and unforunately unattainable life.

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18 Comments

Filed under Personal

18 responses to “All of You Who Enjoy Math…

  1. No Thomas! Don’t lose hope!
    I think that if you keep practicing, you’ll be able to figure it out. Personally I’m not naturally good at math. All those things that people find so obvious take me countless hours to figure out. A lot of extra practice and help has been useful though.
    Alsooo..Precalc was just a depressing time for me too. I definitely thought that Algebra was the peak of my math life xD and somehow, I though the beginning of Calculus wasn’t too mad. It may have just been my teacher though. BUT you’ll make it if keep trying.
    If you’re still feeling hopeless, I’ll trade any math skills I may have for your English skills because Lang is the class that makes me cry xD

    • I suppose I shall practice more then. I remember when I thought Algebra 2 was difficult… now, not so much. Are you in AB or BC Calculus now? I know we’re both juniors, so if you are in AP math… you’re really smart.

      For some reason my three AP classes combined (US History, Lang, and Psych) are so much easier for me than Precalculus. We should definitely trade some of our skills to achieve a more balanced academic repertoire. (:

      • Err..I just take random Magnet math..special program at my school. I’ll probably be taking the BC exam though. I wouldn’t say that I’m smart. I’m more of an obsessively paranoid overachiever. I know I need to calm down with how hard I try but then it just feels weird. In Lang though, there have been no positive results so I will willingly take any advice you have. xD

        • I know how you feel, I would call myself an “obsessively paranoid overachiever” as well but then I’d be lying… because of my Precalculus grade. -_-

          I love AP Lang, it’s one of my only solid A classes right now. We should combine our brains and create an all-around academic superstar. πŸ˜€

  2. Cara

    First thing, I love that bookmark! If only my life was like that…*sigh* Anywho I think that it depends a lot on the instructors to be honest, not to say the student doesn’t need to put effort but a good instructor can make a huge difference. I remember for the longest time I truly believed I was no good at math and now I tutor it (mind you not the stuff that is outrageously hard). I still don’t believe am as good as some people, but having a teacher that makes it clear of what is expected and who is willing to help without making you feel stupid is important. There are some people who just have innate ability for it, but you can get at a pretty preformable level with a good teacher, I believe. Whoa I’m taking a lot longer than I thought to explain how I feel about this. I may be just bambling, who knows? Unfortunately it’s just an evil we must deal with:(

    • I can see why the teacher matters when it comes to math, I’ve always had accessible and helpful teachers in the past so maybe I should go to my current teacher for additional additional help (I already did a few times… didn’t work out well).

      Who knows, maybe if I practice more I’ll be able to tutor the easier stuff once I reach your age. (; Okay, never mind, that’s not happening…

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Cara!

  3. I feel your pain Thomas!

    Luckily Maths (don’t know why we add the ‘s’, but we do) is just a distant and vaguely unpleasant memory for me. Some day in the not too distant future, it will be just that for you too and then you’ll get to study all of the wonderful things that you actually want to study. I ditched Maths as quickly as I could and not once have I found myself in a situation where I regretted that, much less needed to find the trajectory of a projectile πŸ˜› That probably doesn’t help you deal with your current situation, but one day you’ll be studying with nothing but a smile on your face and no more crying πŸ™‚

    How is your no-more-self-deprecating quest going?

    • Thank you for reassuring me, Ruth. I feel a lot better now knowing that I will definitely not have to deal with such an insipid subject in just a couple of years. (:

      It’s going well! I’ve pretty much stopped except for the occasional socially acceptable self-deprecating comment – though I’ve developed a habit of saying that I’m going to live in a box when I grow up because of failing Precalculus. But, that will probably fade once I’m done with math, which should be only in two or three years! πŸ˜€

  4. Projectiles and English? Um… well when the American government falls to China and tons of books starting landing on the “banned” book list, you’ll have to flee from projectiles for being a free thinker and trying to save literature. Then the world will fall into post-apocolyptic turmoil and your knowledge of projectile motion and approximate firing distance will save you.

    Also, I remember doing that math. I also remember when I was in Calculus and missed that kind of math.

    • But seriously, as an art student, it’s hard to believe that I would enjoy left brained subjects such as math, or science, or English…. and there’s at least one subject in that list I dislike… and I’ll give you a hint:

      it’s not math and it’s not science.

      It’s not that I’m particularly bad at English, i’ve actually done pretty good on most of my AP english essays in highschool and consistently scored a 630 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT (twice, same score) and a 670/680 on the writing. I just don’t enjoy it. I do however enjoy writing in my free time, occasionally, but I wouldn’t say my writing is particularly skilled or eloquent. I have, however, been given compliments about how poetic and/or engaging it can be.

      However, I’m one of the few art-focused students who is not afraid and even ENJOYS math and science. In fact, I’m damn good at it. I’ve only been to about 5 physics lectures so far and I’m still making A’s and I got up in arms about missing 2 points (scoring a 98) on one of my labs last week. I made a 101 on my Trig test, and that’s WITH missing 3 questions. yay bonus credit.

      Because of my intentions as a VG designer, math and physics can prove useful to me, but even outside of their necessity I sometimes just enjoy doing them because it feels like a puzzle to me, and I have all the pieces to find the right answer, so when I do I feel successful. Sometimes, I even prefer Trig/Physics homework to art projects, as a BREAK from art projects, because they have a clear right answer that I can get to easily where as art projects don’t have a clear right answer and it’s sure as hell NOT easy to get to any SORT of right answer. It’s never completely right, or 100% perfect, or a set method that will get me there without fail. In many ways I find math and science beautiful/amazing for that reason. It’s a subject that is completely dedicated to the truth, to factual work, and not subject to opinions or debates of morality or ethics or concept, it just IS and there’s no arguing about it. It’s a pure, unbiased constant in the universe. And now I sound like a nerd. So yeah, that’s my opinion. XD

      • You know how much I love reading and replying to your comments and how awesome I think you are, but, I am SO jealous of you. So, so jealous…

        Disliking English and still scoring a 680 on the writing portion of the SAT? Attaining A’s in college level physics courses and trig courses? While still being art-focused? I think everyone who’s commented on this post should donate a portion of their brain for me to utilize, just for a couple of years until I’m done with math… no, I’m kidding. Unfortunately.

        Anyway, it’s funny because what you like about math is what I abhor about it. In math, if you make one little mistake, your entire answer is ruined and you receive no credit whatsoever. It’s completely black and white with no shades of grey, which is completely unrealistic if you put it into the context of real life. With English and writing you can augment your argument with logic and appeals to emotion and character, you can incorporate sophisticated vocabulary, you can reference other literary works or anecdotes from real life, it’s just so beautiful and splendid in its complexity. Math is just so tasteless, at least to me. That’s just my opinion of course. πŸ™‚

        Also, that deserves a mention. My next personal post is going to be pretty controversial / interesting, so, watch out for it. (;

        • Well I’ll just let you know that in college, missing one little thing in your answer doesn’t mean the WHOLE thing is wrong. In college, they look at HOW you solved the problem, and if you did all the steps right but maybe missed a negative or plugged the wrong number in or what have you – some silly little mistake like, oh I dunno, Misreading ” (seconds) as ‘ (minutes) and converting it by 1/60 instead of 1/3600 -_- – you get PARTIAL CREDIT for at least knowing HOW to solve the problem.

          But I like that math won’t change. 2 + 2 will always = 4, no matter what government is in power, or what religion you practice, or what country you’re in. the whole world could go to hell in a hand basket, war and controversy can change hte way you look at history, or a book, or change how that literature is interpretted. 100 years from now, 200, 500, the people then might see something like Harry Potter or the Sun Also Rises completely differently than we do now, but 2 + 2 will still = 4… When I do math it feels strangely comforting to know that it’s unchanging and someone will be doing the same things far into the future. It’s weird, I know XD

          But yes, I dislike writing that isn’t casual, and scored a 680 in writing, and I’m making an A in physics without even really attending the lessons. I got pissed about the 99 i made on a physics lab because the 1 point was for a value being too high, and I made a 100 on a trig quiz I didn’t even fully study for. AND just got fully accepted into the art program today πŸ™‚ yep, just got my results for my portfolio review and I’m officially a BFA major. We’re having a celebratory dinner tonight.

          But, just a warning, DO NOT judge college courses by High School. High School likes to exaggerate the weight of certain subject/processes in college, like… whether students wear PJs to class or… dye their hair funky colors, or how they grade things, and how hard the subjects are. I found that almost everything that terrified me about college when I was in high school was largely exaggeration by my teachers to OVER prepare me for college. I won’t say it wasn’t worth the effort, as I’m now much more organized with my coursework and my room, but I wouldn’t worry too much.

          • Congratulations on being a BFA major! I knew all of your hard work would pay off! I’m really happy for you.

            Also, thanks for the reassurances regarding math and college in general. I can’t wait for college, it sounds so much better than high school. If I score high enough on the AP Calculus exam in a couple of years hopefully I won’t even have to take math, but, if I do, I’ll keep what you’ve said in mind.

  5. Ha! I am good at it but still don’t like it πŸ˜›

  6. I don’t hate Math, I dislike it. Like you, I appreciate its importance in every day life. I’m no good (okay, just a little…) no matter how hard I try and here I go trying my hand at Advanced Math, it’s a necessary subject if I’m to get into collage.But whether or not we like it we still have to face it and Math doesn’t really care.
    Ugggh, I’ve just come from a class of the said subject and my head hurts, horribly.Stupid Math…

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