Tuesday, October 25, 2011



Throughout high school, I struggled with math and when I reached as far as I could, I stopped. Whether this is chalked up to being more interested in other things or an actual blockage, I can’t say from this vantage point. For years, I just avoided it and used a calculator.

In college, I finally reached that point of having to take algebra. The way they did it in a normal semester was as a lab. In this setting, it was pretty much up to the student to do the work on their own and tap teaching assistants when we hit a wall to get help. At that point in my life, I was rather introverted and reticent to ask someone I didn’t know for help. Needless to say, I failed.

I signed up for the summer version to get rid of that ‘F’ and to see if I could understand it enough to pass. This was your traditional class with the professor up front writing out the problems on a board. This person broke down the problems into something I could grasp bit by bit. I was getting it. I understood what was happening and passed. With an ‘A’.

This was HUGE for me. To go from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’ really boosted my confidence and also helped me understand the best way I learn. I need someone to break down the big picture into bits so I can see what is going on with each step, and then I can understand the whole.

I used to be afraid of math and, while I am no math guru, I know that I can tackle it and ask for help if I don’t get it. What is something you struggled with and were able to overcome?