Welcome to Retroman40's World!

It's a "Math" World

OK, so the title of the page is a bit of a knock off of the term "It's a Mad World."  Well, I suppose it's both.  While this might surprise some people who really don't know me that well, but I have always loved anything mathematical.  People who do know me know all to well that I love to analyze (and yes, even over analyze) just about anything.  

I consider math to be a lot like music, art and even athletics; some people just get it naturally.  How often do you hear about "a natural athlete or other artist?"  All the time.  So why don't we realize that some people are just natural mathematicians?  Along with that we also need to realize that just like with sports, a certain percentage of people will never "get it."  I liken this to the one sport I am actually decent at - golf.  There are people who take all the lessons and have the latest mallets in their bags yet they can't break 90 (or in some cases even 100) to save their skin.  At the same time there are people like my next door neighbor who can go months without touching a club and still go out and shoot in the 80's.  Imagine what his game could be if he didn't have work, school and two young children holding him back.  My point is that while we need to recogize and celebrate the natural talent, we also need to focus our efforts on that 10% or so who will always struggle and help them the best we can to succeed. 

The thing is though that math is actually important in our everyday life whether we want to admit it or not.  I am wary of constantly hearing about improving test scores.  "Real" math is much more than answering a series of multiple choice questions in a fixed period of time.  It is understanding how the world works.  It is the ability to look at something and formulate in your mind a path towards a solution.

For the past year and a half, I have been working regularly with high school students who are studying Algebra I and Algebra II.  I hope I have helped some of them to not just learn basic facts but to actually understand the value of math in their everyday life.  I know being in a school every day has certainly opened my eyes to a lot of things.  I hope the reader will check out my thoughts on the world of math; where we are, where we should be and just how the heck are we going to get there.
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