Monday, November 29, 2021

Y-Speak: My experience with Math

DO YOU remember those days where mathematics subject was only all about “1+1” or “If I have ten apples and gave five, how many are left?”

Growing up, I find math a challenging subject – I would copy answers from my best friend’s math assignment; sometimes I scratch my head out of frustration because I could not grasp what the lesson was all about; and there were also times that I would cry and throw my notebook when my grandmother help me with my math homework.

I even had a hard time memorizing the multiplication table and only memorized by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. As a result, a hard time with division also.

In a nutshell, mathematics was not my first love but I did not hate it too. It is like there is no chemistry between the subject and me. I did not think much about it in school.

In high school, I found out that math was a cool subject, but now it’s not just numbers but with “x” and “y”.

Surprisingly, solving quadratic equations was fun. I had fun and also had experienced difficulties since I did not fully memorize the multiplication table. But with all of the challenges that I had, I still considered taking up a math-related course in college, which I did.

Remember what I said that math was a cool subject? I take it back. It’s not cool at all. Back then quadratic equations were easy for me but in college, it was a nightmare. I think the coolness of the math subject in high school took a wrong turn and became a nightmare as I enter college.

One time, in my basic math subject, we did not use any calculators, my scratch paper would be full of drawings of sticks as I try to divide a large number. I would be amazed that my classmates can can calculate without a calculator. “What kind of sorcery is this?” I usually tell myself.

But the good news is that I realized early that I was not suited for this. And decided to change majors from math to English. People I know would said that it was a huge leap from my previous major. When I was asked what the reason for changing majors was, I would usually say “too young, too dumb to realize” which was a line from a song. It just explained the situation perfectly.

At the end of the day, everyone has a different experience with math. Some have a great experience, some of us don’t. (May Angela Ung, UM intern)


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