Sunday, February 01, 2015

What Math Has Taught Me

My math progress has come to a standstill. I find myself making all kinds of mistakes in multiplication and division, and sometimes I simply write the wrong numbers down. I keep getting stuck on the same kinds of problems, and I keep making the same kinds of mistakes. I have been diligent and disciplined (the Khan academy gives you all sorts of badges as rewards for diligence), but I seem to be stuck in the same math rut that I found myself in during the sixth grade. How I passed sixth grade math is a mystery to me. Math IS interesting. If it weren't for the arithmetic, I would probably be going great guns, but I'm not. The more I try to "master" certain skills, the more unsure I become, and the more mistakes I make.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I am simply not "wired" for arithmetic. When I was a teenager I just thought I was inept and therefore dumb, but I have learned that I am one of a select group of people who, despite other measures of intelligence and achievement, have serious difficulty with numbers.

I liken it to being color blind, tone deaf, or too short to reach a high shelf. There are indeed people for whom music is simply sound. There are people who are unable to match pitches with their voices. Math ability is a talent. Perhaps it is even a gift.

This will be the last you hear from me about math, either pro or con.

It's time to practice the violin.

1 comment:

The Crow said...

Your view of mathematicians is how I view those who create music. It is a world I cannot enter, though I have tried. I have no sense of rhythm.

(I like Khan Academy, too!)