Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stupid math history essay

My math career began early in my life, during my kindergarten years at James Mckee Elementary.  My mother taught me how to do addition and subtraction problems that went into the hundreds.  I have always enjoyed math and the logic involved in solving complex problems.  It seems that if the rest of the world was as logical and concrete as the concepts I’ve learned in math so far, it would be an easier place to live in.
In sixth grade I was enrolled in a ‘gifted and talented education’ class.  Pre algebra, our math course, had its way with me.  It took me a bit longer than the other students to get some of the ideas, and I almost wasn’t permitted to move on to algebra in middle school.  I vaguely remember my mother using her influence at the district office to pull some strings for me, which is how I wound up taking algebra from some hippie lady my seventh grade year.  I managed to pull an A, and continued with A’s in geometry and algebra II.  Precal was quite a bit more difficult.  I studied for a few hours a week with friends from the class.  The trigonometry involved was a breeze, but the basic statistics were not easy to me at all.  Neither were arithmetic and geometric sequences.  Nonetheless, I worked hard and earned my B.
Thus began my graduation into higher mathematics.  Junior year brought me through my first year of calculus.  Believe it or not, it was my favorite class that year.  The curriculum took a semester of college calculus and stretched it into a full school year.  My teacher was a very intelligent man who was able to make the material relatively easy.  Homework was light, tests were heavy, but that was not a bad thing at all, because he taught in such a way that the focus was on understanding, not memorizing.  I worked very hard for my A’s both semesters.  My senior year, I took a stab at another year of calculus.  The results were not to my liking.  To be honest, I started to lose focus somewhere between losing my book and cutting my schedule back to four classes.  After my focus was gone, so was my hope for getting a good grade and I settled for a very low passing grade.
My goal in statistics this year is to gain an approach to making assumptions based on given data that is applicable to my life.  In so doing, perhaps my decision making skills will improve.

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