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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tenaciousness to the tenth degree

My entire youth I was tormented by my inabilities to understand math. Math was a huge source of frustration, and confusion for me. I never understood why the apples were being taken away and what was up with long division? To me, these were torturing devices designed to make me feel stupid and inadequate. In fact, I was afraid of math to the point of delaying college because I believed that I would never be able to pass the Math classes that were required. After all I had literally failed every single math class I had ever attempted. However, I realized that I could not keep avoiding math out of shame or fear. I finally have been facing my math fears over the course of the past year. I began by first submitting myself for special testing to see if I had a math learning disability. The test revealed that I do struggle with math but that the components for understanding math were there and that with extra effort on my part I would be able to master math. I began at the very lowest level math class at the local technology college and I slowly started mastering the basic math concepts that had been stumbling blocks for so long. At first I was afraid that I would never be able to understand math but I worked hard nonetheless. What happened over the course of the next few months was a huge transformation that I was not expecting. As I consistently worked hard each and every day on math, I found that I was actually comprehending math. Where I had first been afraid and ashamed I developed confidence and comprehension. I was understanding math and actually enjoying it. I worked my way through the lower levels of math and passed those classes with A's.

I was then ready to begin at USU with the lower levels of Algebra. I enrolled in a special math class that is available to those who qualify. It's an intensify class that meets every day and has a special SI and tutoring sessions. The class size was only about 15 students and the same teacher teaches all of the math courses. I began with pre-algebra and for the first time in my life I was able to solve equations that I had never before comprehended. I found that not only did I enjoy math but I was actually quite good at it. I again received an A in this math class and my self esteem was boosted. The next step in this journey was for me to take Math 1010. I had heard mixed reviews from other students about this course and dreaded stories about the college wide final that concluded the course. I again was in a smaller class with the same math teacher and SI instructor and tutors. I worked hard each and every day and was forever mindful of the final exam. I did everything I could to succeed in my math class and I was astounded when my final math grade posted. I earned an A- in my Math 1010 class. Never in my life did I believe that I could earn an A from a math course. I believed that I was stupid when it came to numbers and that my brain was not cut out for math computations. However, with an amazing support system and tenaciousness I have learned that you can actually accomplish anything you set your mind too. I worked long, hard hours on math over this past year, at least 4-6 hours every single day for a whole year in addition to 6-8 hours every single weekend. Math has been the center of my universe and I feel strange that I have finished my math requirements. I learned for myself that I am actually quite good at math and that with hard work and determination you can accomplish anything. I also believe that I was creating my own stumbling blocks by continually telling myself that I was a failure when it came to math and that I would never get it. When I suspended those hurtful judgements and began to dig in and work hard at learning more about math I discovered that I actually love math and that my brain is more than capable when it comes to math computations.


WILLFULL said...

I am so proud of you and your tenacity. You are such a hard worker and a smart worker too. I love you and I am glad that you have mastered math. I can't wait to see what your next mountain will be. I know you will continue to climb to great heights.