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PotentialMath Posted - 10/23/2007 : 17:15:46
Okay I know this probably isn't the section to be posting this type of thing. But I came here in hopes of finding more information on how to increase my math knowledge. You see when I was younger in Elementary school I never really did understand math that well. While some of the kids excelled in multiplication and other math I was left behind. Because I was still trying to understand the basics. As of today. I understand the basics a little bit. So I ended up in a learning disability class for math. I somehow managed to make it through to middle school where math became even more complicated as I was just then learning some of the stuff I should have learned back in elementary. But things got worse as I finally found myself in Foster care.

For the next 5 years i was constantly moved from home to home because of problems. When I wasn't in a foster home I was in a shelter for children who didn't have a home. But they didn't school us. Their job was to find us a home. So I spent a huge proportion of my days not being able to understand math because it frustrated me. I couldn't figure it out and when the teacher tried to force me to understand something I wasn't able to comprehend I became infuriated because I just couldn't do it even when I tried.

So here I am as a 22 year old male who doesn't understand math very well. As far as I have gotten is to Geometry. But even then. I barely know my multiplication tables extremely well because back in Elementary I did not excel at it like the others and had a horrible time trying to memorize them. So all of the math I have learned up until now is not very adequate. I did finish High School but I ended up going to alternative ed to finish it and my teacher cheated me through the math because I explained to her I couldn't do it.

I feel ashamed that I do not comprehend math like some others. But math IS my weakest subject in general and its the reason I am scared to go to college. I now know that math is a very important part of life and it is causing me many problems. If anyone out there can help me. Tell me of a good place to start from the beginning or a school that helps with this kind of problem I would more than greatly appreciate your help, and sorry again for posting in the wrong section. There is no section for this type of question.
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tkhunny Posted - 10/23/2007 : 18:09:24
You need a book, a good tutor or teacher, and some specific, directed guidance. It is not likely this sort of assistance can be obtained over the internet. Someone qualified needs to help you see where you are. You cannot judge sufficiently well because of the baggage you describe.

A few points to ponder:

1) How many times have how many people, including yourself, told you that you are no good at math? I suspect it is a very large number. Rule #1 - Stop it NOW. Never do it again, ever! Make a commitment, "I won't say it. I won't think it. I won't believe it."

2) Diagnosis is a funny business. Notice the diagnoses in your introduction, "never really did understand", "I was left behind", "things got worse", "because of problems", "they didn't school us", "it frustrated me", "I wasn't able to comprehend", "I became infuriated", "I just couldn't do it", ... There are several more. The world is jam-packed full of diagnoses. The world is ALSO quite nicely filled with solutions, but you have stated none in your introduction. The good news is that this is not all that uncommon, to focus on the problem rather than the solution. This is another reason why you need a trusted academic advisor to help you see through the years of unhelpful diagnoses. Let's find a remedy, rather than stressing over past problems.

3) You are honest and willing. That, my friend, is well more than half the battle - maybe 3/4!!

4) I am not pleased at all that you have made two references, one to shame and the other to students who "excel". These rferences are 100% unnecessary. There are many levels of success. "Excel" is NOT the only level of success. Stop worrying about that right now. There is no shame in not being the top student in class. There is also no shame in being the bottom student in class. Whoever told you otherwise is simply wrong and mean-spirited. It is a lie. Don't believe it. You are not the only one who has spoken of himself like this. Many others have heard and believed these same lies. Let them go TODAY! No shame. No goal to excel. Let's just shoot for success.

5) Let me just stress that you need local, caring, capable assistance. You should not be afraid to go to college, but you should be wise enough not to go until you are prepared. On the other hand, it is likely a local college will want to help you to prepare. Some local business colleges are struggling for enrollment. It is a good time for them to change their outreach attitude. You seem like a good candidate for just such a program.

6) If you have read a single word I have written as discouraging, please go read it again until the feeling passes. There is hope.

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