Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Don't Know Much About Algebra . . ."

Mark 4:13
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable?  How then will you understand any parable?"

There are two types of people in this world:  Those who"get" math and those who don't.

Count me in among the latter.

I should get a clue about my inability to grasp math concepts when I struggle to learn my multiplication tables in fourth grade.  I finally master them, but not without repetitive and frustrating practice.

I manage to navigate through the wiles of math, keeping up my grades, until I hit that seemingly insurmountable brick wall.

Algebra!

The symbols.  The formulas.  Might as well be Greek to me.

No rhyme.  No reason.  No sense.

And, my grade is plummeting.

Not acceptable as I pride myself in achieving all "A's". 

Enter my dad, saint that he is, who sits with me every night.

After a long day at work.

Tutors me.  Puts up with my "I don't get it!", "Math is stupid!", "What do I need this for in life anyway?"

Patiently, so patiently, showing me the steps.  One by one.  Over and over. Again and again.

"Math builds on concepts," he explains.  "If you don't understand the first one, you can't move on to the next.  You have to practice."

"I don't want to practice!"  I protest.

"Let's try this again."

And on.  And on.  And on . . .

Night after weary night.

And, what do you know?  Slowly, but surely, the steps begin to stick.  To fall into place.

To make sense.

My grade of "D" soars to a "B".

Thanks to my father who never gives up on me.
~
What was your hardest subject in school?

Will you pray with me?
Grant us, Father, ears to hear, eyes to see, and minds to understand Your Word.  Open our hearts to love as You love.  We thank You for never giving up on us.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 72 or 119:73-96
Genesis 42:18-28
1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8
Mark 4:1-20 

19 comments:

  1. I'd have to say that math was. I was in a big class and our teacher expected you to "just get it", so he could continue along. Some kids did just get it but most of us did not. I ended up self teaching myself after school, at home...

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    1. I'm amazed that you were actually able to teach yourself. Wow! My algebra teacher sounds much like yours was - just moving right along, expecting everyone to fall in line. Whoops! That's when the stragglers and struggling fall through the cracks.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, RoseAnn!
      Blessings!

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  2. Physics always did me in - I'm afraid I never did get it. Yes, God the Father is much like yours..and isn't that wonderful? :)

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    1. I never even made it to physics! Lol! And, yes, I am so grateful for both my loving Fathers!
      Blessings, Corinne, and thanks so much for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  3. Math was definitely the hardest for me! And in turn..physics and anything that related to math! What I didn't get was the whole "nonreal" and "imaginary" , what is THAT all about?!?! lol I'm hoping my kids "get" it a lot more than I did and still don't..because that's one area I'm going to be limited in helping them out with when it comes to homework!

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    1. As I said to Corinne, I didn't ever take physics - the math would have killed me!
      I do hope your children don't struggle with it. My son had a really tough time - we had to get a tutor because I was no help - but, my daughter had no trouble at all. Go figure! :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica!
      Blessings!

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  4. I love this. I had a hard time with History. I never understood, why we needed to know what happened years ago. I thought... who cares? What about NOW... What about TOMORROW??? Oh, how naive was I? haha After studying the Bible for years... I realize NOW how very important, every detail of history IS. ;)

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    1. How ironic! History has always been one of my easiest subjects and I taught social studies (middle school) for years. :)
      And, I'm glad you found out how important it is; because, if we don't learn from history, we are bound to make the same mistakes in our own time.
      Blessings to you!

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  5. I can relate to this! I hit the wall with long division in 4th grade. My dear Mom did the same as your wonderful dad, sitting with me and going over and over and over the concepts. I grew so frustrated that I was in tears regularly. Finally, it clicked, and I was able to get through that week of testing, then I lost the knowledge again. Teachers insisted I was lazy and didn't want to apply myself, yet I had tested over and over at a genius IQ. It was many years later as an adult that I had diagnostic testing done that proved I have a rare form of dyslexia, called recidivistic dyslexia. This means that with math concepts - abstract logic - I can learn something of math logic one day, after hours of trying, and then in approximately one to three days, my brain loses the knowledge. The interesting things is that this only manifests for me with math.

    Luckily, I chose writing as my profession! The only thing I regret is that I didn't take chemistry in high school, because although I rarely use or need high level mathematical skills, I HAVE needed chemistry knowledge in my adult years.

    Great post, Martha!

    - Dawn

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    1. Hi, Dawn, thanks so much for stopping by today!
      Wow, you did have a rough time! I have never heard of recidivistic dyslexia. Now, I'm wondering if that was part of my problem, too. It's so frustrating, too, when one is as highly intelligent as you are and "should be able to do the work", but just can't wrap your head around it.
      I'm glad, too, that you chose writing as your profession because you are a truly gifted writer. I always look forward to your posts.
      Blessings always!

      Delete
  6. I love Algebra and Math. Physics gave me a hard time understanding some concepts but my teacher was a brilliant man and he told us to apply the laws in everyday life. I understood why we studied the subjects early in life when I graduated and entered real life outside school.

    I loved how your reflection of that verse evolved. I always wonder how effective Jesus was as a teacher.

    While walking home yesterday, I recalled all the people I met who loved their profession~ who loved what they do. It's not the money they earn that matters much but the service they give to the people.

    I could sense the strength and weight of the words they 'preach' because they apply them in their daily living.

    If Jesus was present and He'd tell us a parable, I wonder if I'd be recognize what He says without further explanation...

    It takes time to sink in sometimes...He is the Light Himself :) I pray with You.

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    1. *if I'd be able to recognize...:P

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    2. So glad to see you here, Melissa!
      That's great to know you you had such a wonderful teacher for physics - such a tough subject. Isn't it wonderful when people are in professions they love, like teaching, and truly serve their students and inspire them for life.
      And, yes, we have the explanation for all the parables right in front of us in the Bible. I've often wondered if I had just heard those parables Jesus told, would I have been perplexed? I know I would probably ponder them until they made sense. Some things, I agree, do take time to sink in.
      Thanks as always for praying with me!
      Blessings always!

      Delete
  7. I was no good at history and required lots of help from my twin sister to pass chemistry. :)

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    1. Hi, Rachel, it's great to see you here!
      It's so interesting to see what subjects gave others fits at school. Glad your twin could help you out with the chemistry - another one of my non-favorites. :)
      Blessings!

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  8. I know what you mean, I was like what! I don't get it, I don't need this anyways, I was never good at math no matter how hard I/ my sister, little sister, who was in the smart classes, same grade as me, father, tried. I actually was thinking about this recently and I learned that I never didn't like math it's just that I never understood it, I actually like math sometimes especially when I understand it. I didn't like chemistry, the teacher said I passed but, i'm pretty sure I failed. At least I tried. Maybe that's why she let me pass. I don't know. : )

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Joseph!
      Welcome to the "I can't do math" club! :) Actually, as a much older adult, I had to take algebra to get my teacher certification. For some reason, I understood it and passed. Go figure?
      And, at least you made it through chemistry - that's great!
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Replies
    1. Hi, Luchi, and thanks so much for stopping by!
      It seems like you have some company here. Most students, I think, find history boring because they are made to memorize so many facts and dates. Teachers should, instead, incorporate more creative, story-telling ways in their lessons to effectively communicate the information without torturing the students.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete

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