Dreams of Math Nerdom

by beagooddad on June 10, 2009

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Were you ever addicted to Tetris or one of those similar computer puzzle games and find that when you went to bed and closed your eyes you would see the game playing on the back of your eyelids?

I’m kind of going through that with math problems these days.

I’m about halfway through the second chapter of my old Calculus book. I’ve been doing 1-3 hours of math studying and math exercises each day (in addition to my homework for the two classes that I’m actually taking).

And I’ve relearned something about myself. I love math. I remembered that I really dug math and was very good at math but I had mostly forgotten how much I love actually struggling through the information and then working through the problems. And even best is when the answer in the back of the book doesn’t match my attempt and I have to spend 15 minutes figuring out exactly where I went wrong or what little substitution trick I had forgotten to use.

It is really scary how much I’m enjoying working through this text book.

I do the math studying last each night since I’m actually getting graded for the homework in the other two classes. By the time I’m done (between 11pm and midnight), I find that my brain is running on high speed and there’s no way I could fall asleep. If I tried, the equations would just start scrolling on the back of my eyelids.

So, no matter how tired I am, I end up reading some fiction for about a half hour before bed each night.

On a slightly related note, the big kids got their report cards yesterday (“Hurray for Summer Break!” said Geetle and Pookie). The kids are both pretty good at math concepts and we need to make sure they keep working on that stuff over the summer. I learned that they were working on basic concepts of fractions with Pookie. Stuff like whole, half, quarter, etc. I would be pretty comfortable helping a college freshman work through this calculus book but I tremble with fear at trying to explain how to carry the one in addition or why 4 X 3 = 12.

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