Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"But I'm Not Good at Math!"

Teaching the kiddies (and most adults) that "I'm not good at math" is not an excuse for being lazy.

Language warning.


Jose Romero said...

Learning math is critical for the type of job or service you can provide. Highly technical jobs require the student to learn very advanced math and science.

People do not like to learn or work in a field that deals with math due to the fact that they feel they may not understand it. The reality is in order to learn it you must practice it constantly.

At first you will fall on your face quite a bit that it will make you question yourself. When that happens you get up and try again until you get it. Most people feel that they do not have the time to learn it so they don't.

As for me i was not very good with math but i went ahead and jumped in head first anyway. I kept at it and at times i wanted to quit but kept going anyway. In time though i can say that i was able to learn it and actually get the technical job i was shooting for.

Certain things in life take practice. Unfortunately many people feel that they do not have the time or are constantly distracted.

Roberto Severino said...

I'll put it like this.

Many, many years ago, I was a pretty crappy ass cartoonist and I had discovered these online drawing lessons that would allow me to learn the principles and fundamentals behind what made the older 1940s and 50s cartoons look so appealing and fun and it took quite a lot of hard work and experimentation to even get good at doing the first few lessons and figuring out the right kinds of pencils to use, etc. I kept at it for a couple of years, constantly critiquing myself and getting better and better until I got several professional cartoonists to notice what I was doing and how I was also developing a unique style of my own as I copied and studied from various sources and gave me some of the most important drawing advice I had ever gotten to date.

To summarize this, you can't really learn to study from let's say a late 1950s Disney cartoon with a lot of subtle angles or a really stylized Chuck Jones Warner Bros. cartoon without knowing the very basics and fundamentals and mastering those. Once you have that down, you can use those tools to figure out what cartoonists from E.C. Segar to Hank Ketcham had in common and the very tools that they used to study how they also used composition and other fundamentals to create their strips.

Just like with this and ballroom dancing, math sounds exactly the same way, with even more procedures. It takes a lot of practice to get any good at and one needs to master the very basics and build on top of those fundamentals.

James Wolfe said...

Math IS hard. People have always said I must be good at math, being a programmer. Hell no I tell them. That's what the computer is for. Knowing how to think logically and apply knowledge in order to solve complex problems, that's hard. And that's not what they teach in school these days. It's all memorization and standardization. Teach to the test. There's never room for why? Why am I learning this? Why do I need this? If you don't understand why you're doing something you'll never be able to apply it. I sucked at Calc II because I completely lost the point of it and nobody could explain why to me.

I have a complete mental block when I'm asked to do something that appears to be pointless. Even if I know the rules, the tricks, the formulas needed to solve the problem I can't make myself do it if there's no reason why. I guess that's why I refuse to put up with illogic from women. Even if there is a pattern to their illogic I refuse to participate in it. What's the point?

Herb Nowell said...

Twenty years latter one thing that proves to me most liberal arts majors are inferior remains.

To fill breadth requirements as a math major I took literature courses that could count towards an English degree. I took art courses that could count towards an art major. In any field not my own my breadth requirement classes had to be classes that counted towards the major. Sure, there were 101 but I was in a room with people getting a degree in the field.

Then, when they had to come over to my house for breadth there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. The math was hard. They needed "Math for Poets" or "History of Math" classes specifically for them. No one in my calculus classes was a non-STEM major (business majors had a separate calculus track). No one in my discrete math class was a non-math or computer science major. Both of those are 101 freshman courses but they're too much for liberal arts majors. I know the same applied in the hard sciences. My physics classes had STEM people only as did my chemistry and biology classes.

Personally, I think there is more value in taking discrete than calculus but if you're supposedly just as intelligent as me why can't you tackle my basics when you come to my house. Why do you want special treatment? Because it's hard? Because it's not fun.

Okay, that's fine. From now on I want English departments to offer literature breadth classes that let me read the Dresden Files and trashy Star Wars novels. Reading real literature is hard. Oh, and I don't want to have to write. Writing is hard, and it's not fun for me.

Because if you can't do that. If you insist I can do the work while you can't do mine I can only conclude I am smarter than you. I'm also more open minded because I'm willing to try your BS that bores me and you're not able to reciprocate.