Sunday, January 22, 2006

Things I didn't know that maybe I should have...


Life is a learning experience. Everyday is a lesson and you can either learn it or not, it doesn't matter because the world will make sure that you learn whatever it is that you need to know. According to Dr. Weiss that is the reason why we keep coming back lifetime after lifetime: to learn a lesson, or perhaps teach one. I believe this.

I think the same is true for not so abstract lessons and for not so permanent situations. Take Math for example.

For as long as I can remember I have hated math in all of its forms. It's not that I am numerically challenged because I am not. I just have never been a fan of numbers and laws and order. Ironically enough though, I like to look at problems after I solve them. The more complex the better. Go figure!

In High School I took 3.5 years of math. I stopped in Pre-Calculus because:
1. I hated it
2. I didn't think I would ever use it

Then college came around. Before I graduated I transferred 4 times and switched majors 5. Every time I transferred every single one of my credits transferred too except for the Math credits. Yes people, I took Math 100 four times. Each time it was different but the fact of the matter is that I took it (and passed it with a B or better) four times. In retrospect, I think it was God trying to warn me that I had to learn my stuff.

Until as recent as 2 weeks ago, I really didn't think that I would ever use any of the math I learned. Then Chemistry and Physics came along.

Last week was my first week of labs. I don't think that there are enough words for me to describe how much I hate to be stuck in a lab for 4 hours straight after I spent the 2 hours prior in a classroom but I digress. My first Physics lab was the one that caused me all sorts of stress and brought me home on a mission to prove or disprove what this woman was saying to me.

All my life I had been thought that the number "0" is neither odd nor even. As I was on a roll answering questions and doing my thing (because I do study so I do know my stuff) the teacher asks the class if the number "0" is odd or even. I say neither. I was wrong. What's more, I didn't understand what she was talking about in her explanation as to why the number "0" is an even number so I write on my notebook: "NOTE TO SELF: Find out about the properties of 0".

So class keeps on going and I was already very stressed out about not knowing about the "0" thing, though I didn't feel so bad because apparently most people in the class didn't know that either and then we move on to this problem that required rounding. Because I was so confident that I knew the law of rounding, I went on to explain what I remembered: "If a number is 5 or higher your round up if it's lower than 5 you round down".

AGAIN I was wrong. Apparently if you have a 5 you only round up if the number before it is an odd number.

Needless to say, I was pissed because this class was challenging the little bits of Math I had learned over the years that I was so proud of. What's more, I thought that the teacher was lying and there was no way for me to check that right then and there because that wasn't in the book and I didn't have my laptop with me.

When I got home, I went straight to Ivan who has always been a mathematical genious in our family and as an architect, he was required to take about 500 different math courses. He said that he had learned it the way that I had so no luck there. Then I waited for Gus who majored in Finance-plenty of math there too- and asked him. He knew that "0" was an even number but the rounding thing he thought it was 5 or over you round up.

I wasn't satisfied so I looked on the Internet. Apparently the teacher was right. UGH! It's good that I know this but now I wonder what else have I learned wrong! How am I supossed to be a stellar student if I have to unlearn what I already know because it wasn't right to begin with? My only consolation is that this is seemingly only with Math related stuff. Everything else is okay.

Numbers suck. Leave me with words.

6 comments:

Elle said...

Math is a greater evil than anything else. I stopped understanding when it came to parabolas. Who really needs them, anyway>

mw said...

I <3 Math. It's logical. Geometry was the best. I loved to do proofs. What could be better, you already know the answers and just have to put it in order with the rules.

Libélula said...

Dude, I was an awesome student in School. I never, ever failed a class...that is before I entered College and I flunked Math 101. I've always hated numbers...

Cabeto said...

only with Math related stuff...

Are U sure?

quico said...

I was good in math in elementary and the rocked algebra in high school (hasta la libere). When I got to college Calc II kicked my butt four times. So you got nothing on me baby girl.

Grant said...

I was taught to always round 5 up. It makes more sense that way. Or you can tell the teacher you only do binary.