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I do not like math, Sam I am,

Friday, April 09, 2010

When this school year started I had 4 math classes I had to work through. I have just gone back to college and I am practically starting from scratch. I want to major in History but the math gods have determined that EVERYONE has to pass college algebra no matter what they are majoring in. So, since I hadn't seen the inside of an algebra book since 1979 I figured I had better start back at the beginning, never having been a math person in the first place. I am near the end of the second of three remedial math classes I am taking to get myself up to speed so I can hopefully pass college algebra. It is hard to believe I have made it this far and I have close to an A average, but it's been a struggle just the same. I do not enjoy math, I can sort of do it by the rules, but I will never be a math person.

I really believe that college algebra is required so colleges can make more money by having people like me take remedial classes which they get no credit for. They have biology classes for non-science majors, why can't they have a math class for non-math majors? I find the whole exercise pointless. I could see the reason for what we learned in pre-algebra. Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals; negative and positive integers etc. I could see a practical need for that sort of thing. But really, why do we all need to learn things that no one but mathematicians ever use? Our teacher has been an engeneer for 30 years and admits he has never used any of this stuff. It's a big waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Plus I can't remember it for any length of time, as soon as the test is over, it's gone. I'm going to have to go back and relearn everything to take the final.

The only real positive I can see is that after all this math, nothing else will seem hard.

I cannot wait for the math to be finished. I can only take one class at a time because ALL of my study time is taken up with studying math. When this is over then I will be able to take a couple of classes a semester at least. It's going to take me forever doing it this way but I can't afford to quit work.

I hope I didn't offend any of you math people out there.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I was a meidocre math student. I never quite knew if it was as my high school math teach told me, I lived a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling myself that I wasn't any good at math, or that maybe I really was lousy at it.

    But I stuck with it and passed, albeit barely. I do wish you much success in the end. Just don't give up. And when you do well, be sure to reward yourself.
    4059 days ago
    I always did lousy in math, and got berated for it. When I went back to college in my late 30s, I knew I was going to have to take algebra again because I didn't have any math that would work for credits towards my degree. So I took bonehead math -- work at your own pace, etc. That's when I discovered I'm dyslexic in math (dyscalculate), which explains why I could never pass a math class before.

    I'm prouder of that B+ in algebra than I am of all the As I got in other classes!

    If you think you might be dyslexic, there are things you can do to overcome it, at least long enough to pass your courses.

    4080 days ago
    I just about got through math in high school. I didn't do well on the placement exam, so I had to take the math prep class - no credit, just tons of work and stress. Well, maybe I had a good teacher, but something clicked. I had that AH HA moment and I understood the math. Now I love it.

    I hope this class turns out to be a really good thing for you too! Sometimes good things come from places we least expect. Hang in there. We are rooting for you. emoticon
    4083 days ago
    I was a math major in college until differential equations did me in. I don't remember much of it now, many years later, but I remember it being fun! I'm sure you'll get through it. Hang in there.
    4083 days ago
  • KLONG8
    I feel your pain having struggled with math throughout my school years. By the time I closed that geometry book as a sophomore I was hanging on by my finger nails. A close friend of mine (a HS math & computer instructor) told me that the problem for folks like me is that the verbal side of my brain matured rapidly while the math side was slower to develop. So I struggled and didn't get the basics. If I went back & started from the point where I started to get lost I'd do so much better today. I found that comforting and do see that all the basic stuff makes perfect sense now. But advanced calculus etc? No, no, no. Good luck and you WILL get through this.
    4083 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6312736
    Been there. Done that.

    My comment is, "I can translate my checkbook better than I can balance it."

    I took a statistics course as a graduate student from an extremely YOUNG professor, who was gifted enough to help us poor non-math persons actually UNDERSTAND what was going on and why the numbers were crunching the way they do. We got into a little algebra, some minor geometry, even some calculus -- and I looked at this young professor, thinking, "Where were you when I needed you, when I was failing college math????"

    Then it hit me. Dr. Sneakers hadn't even been BORN yet when I was an undergraduate. (And it didn't take a "math brain" to figure that one out, either.)

    Best to you -- and yes, you WILL get through it! emoticon

    ---LarSil emoticon
    4083 days ago
  • SOCKS117
    Um...they do have a math class for none math majors, it's called "college algebra." No math major has to take that class. It is the exact same thing as me needing all other gen ed credits - half of which at my school are history classes.
    (Western, American History, World History...)(Lab Science, Non-Lab Science) (Performance Art, Non-Performance Art) (Language 111, 112), etc. Only one of which is a math class. (One that can be filled with highschool math credit.

    (I am a math person, and don't worry, not offended) But, you do have to realize that almost half of the general education classes are in either history or english.

    Don't worry - everyone else is going through the same thing, whether it is with college algerba, performace art, or that pesky french/spanish class.

    Good luck with your class - and if you are ever having problems understanding something in college algebra you can send me a message - I am a math major.
    4083 days ago
    Hey! I teach remedial math! I've heard it all before!

    I actually think my math course is useful. What I do not find useful is calculus. And I have a PhD in physics. I never use calculus. I think I used it for the last time in my PhD defense exam, and it's never turned up since. They make everybody who is getting a BSc take calculus. And about 3 out of 200 people probably enjoy it, I would estimate.

    But remedial math is useful. Well, maybe not all of it. I confess I find it fun. And the thing that I love about math is that you don't have to MEMORIZE anything. It's just all straight logic for me!

    But I feel your pain! I have a poor little student tucked into the backroom right now, striving to get through a quiz. He's taking my course for the second time (failed last time) and I honestly don't think he's going to get through this time either.

    So hang in there! If you need any help, let me know! I emoticon math!!!

    4083 days ago
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