Do The Math

Mathematics has never been my “thing”.  For me, it was a subject filled with complex equations and it has continued to be an area that frustrates me. I realize now that my difficulty actually comes from my confusion about algebra, calculus, geometry and so on. Through the years, instead of asking for assistance, I would just do the minimum requirements in order to receive a passing grade. I tried my best to avoid going in-depth and I held on to the view that math just wasn’t something I was good at. Once I started some college courses, I chose all the classes that I loved, like English & History. I absolutely love reading. It has become so enjoyable that I do it ALL the time, even while eating meals. When I registered, I had decided from the start that any and all math courses would be saved for the very end. I admit, I held on to a fear of mathematical symbols and equations so I tried to reason with myself that ” I’m bad at math, save it for a later time” or “I’m not a math person” . I read an article the other day with an explanation by Purdue University psychologist Patricia Linehan:

“A body of research on conceptions of ability has shown two orientations toward ability. Students with an Incremental orientation believe ability (intelligence) to be malleable, a quality that increases with effort. Students with an Entity orientation believe ability to be nonmalleable, a fixed quality of self that does not increase with effort.”

I have held the belief in “entity orientation” or simply ” You are smart…or not” I didn’t know how to assess many equations combined with the pressure of possible embarrassment or failure, so I put all of my focus into what I believed I could maintain. I actually had a dislike for math lol like how fair is that? To become upset with a subject just because I was unfamiliar with the process/results. The truth is inborn talent is much less important than hard work, preparation and self-confidence. I am slowly learning that the very things that may make you feel uncomfortable, like learning a foreign language to trying a complicated cooking recipe, are the things you should handle with determination and careful study. Also, make a choice to ask someone whom you believe is adept in your specific challenge. Doing this can truly make learning easier and then you start to make significant progress with your goal. I am eager to be proficient and hopefully extend my level of knowledge about mathematics. I have decided that when it is time to register for courses, I will enroll in the required math class for my chosen major and also ask for a math tutor. I would like to set aside some time and perhaps engage in math workbooks, outside of classwork, to refresh and motivate me towards future assignments.

So..I guess I am a math person. I just need to work hard enough to find out and make it happen.