First Semester Update
The second quarter is over. I got an A, just barely, with 94 percent.
After retaking a high school Algebra II class for five months, I have learned a few things about math and myself.
For a former math phobe, perhaps the most surprising thing is this: I like solving problems. Graphing by hand is tedious (all those wobbly lines), and the graphing calculator does not interest me much (just plugging in numbers), but I do enjoy taking a sharp pencil to the page and isolating a variable and moving numbers around until I get the right answer. It’s a soothing mental workout.
I have come a long way from the day I stared blankly at a Virginia Standards of Learning test, perspiring from the foreign language before me and flashbacks of a high school math teacher who once wrote on my report card: "Michael is not in the Circle of Knowing."
Still, success in math comes at a price: Time.
Effort and diligence make a good math student. The difference between the math student I am now and the math student I was 15 years ago is improved study skills and, thank goodness, a little less hormone-induced despair. (Oh and about $100,000 in college tuitions, a decade of work experience, and a Washington Post audience that gets updated on my quiz scores...)
Now, after spending half a year learning math, I’d like to turn my time and attention from my own math struggles and tap into those of today’s teenagers -- my classmates.
I will still be attending the class periodically throughout the spring, but I'll be auditing it from a reporter's perspective rather than taking it as a student. I'll also be visiting other math classes to get a better sense of the range of math abilities and preparation in the school.
In addition to my perspective on high school math, I will bring in more insights from students and teachers about their frustrations, successes and day-to-day experiences as they participate in the national push toward universal access to higher math.
As ever, I remain eager to hear and share your thoughts and ideas about how we can create a new generation of confident mathematicians.
Posted by: vlorbik | February 11, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: KathyWi | February 11, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: nadine2 | February 11, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.