Monday, December 27, 2010

Love of my life : mathematics!

Ever since I put the title of the book up, 'the universal history of numbers', I knew this post was coming.. and soon.

I hate maths... completely.. from the bottom of my heart. Actually it is kind of difficult to distinguish the exact emotion I feel - is it hate or fear. More of the 2nd one , thus leading into the first.

As a child, I always questioned the necessity of knowing mathematics as a subject. Why does anyone need to know calculus or algebra or trignometry.. what is the application really... I couldn't wait to get rid of it. Unfortunately, it has always been with me through my life.. like an unwanted pus filled sore.

When I went to 11th standard, my parents thought I should continue with maths at least till 12th. Post 12th, I opted for Economics.. and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's maths there too!!! And then MBA...

And now funnily enough, I am in a profession which requires a "comfort with numbers" as  a basic skillset.

How I am scared of Maths is not funny!!!!! Even though I have scored well in the subject.. in fact that was my highest scoring subject (!!!!!!!) in 12th standard boards.. I scored 88 or 89% I think!!! So even though I have scored well.. it just scares the s**t out of me!!!

In fact, in campus when the placement season was on.. we had these aptitude tests as the first level screening for many jobs. And I almost threw up. I went to my friend in tears.. and told him there's no way I could get a job.. . He very patiently tried to teach me.. I just have this big big a mindset..a block.. that I just cannot do it. Now matter how much I read the problem and try to understand it, I just doesn't get into my thick head at all!!! And I shed many tears.... I used to be a tortured soul.. but finally I did clear a couple of tests :)

During recruitment, I begged my would be boss to not put me in the "quantitative" department as I do not like maths. But he just pooh poohed the idea and there I have been for the last 9 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now of course my confidence levels are higher - excel helps of course :)  ..

But ask me the area of a hexagon..the number of hours it would take for the water to drip from the tank.... I feel weak in my knees ...a bit dizzy.. (what helps is that my job, thank you god, does not require trignometry and the likes)

Any maths and I just zonk out for those few minutes from the meeting OR wait for one of those gifted individuals (who are always there in every meeting.. the first to raise their hand and give the answer ) to say something while I nod intelligently.

I cannot even calculate very quickly. If someone asks me to add stuff up.. I just go the excel sheet. If no one is looking or stressing me out, then I can calculate quicker. Mental maths always used to terrify me.

I think maybe its to do with my maths teacher. I used to be petrified. I wish she had been kind and gentle .. I for sure react better to that approach than the stick one. I just wish she had in my formative years made it interesting to tackle problems. I know so many people who delight in solving problems.. I am not one of them and I envy them for it!!!

Education could have been so much more fun.

So what was /is your favourite (read hateful) subject?


Scarlett said...

I'm OK with maths. I was poor in it earlier - I used to dread it as a subject. But then I started taking tuitions (in Std. IX, I think) and I improved. That gave me some confidence. I like algebra & geometry, and I can deal with calculus, but I don't get the point of trignometry!!!

My hated subjects would have to be physics & chemistry. Chemistry more than physics actually, since there's no logic to it/application for it. Particularly Organic Chemistry.....ugghhhhh!

Shruti said...

I sooo feel the same way... and you know what? During recruitment, i had asked for qualitative but no one listened to me! :(

I guess one cant get away from numbers!

Shruti said...

By the way, how is the book? :)

Moonshine said...

@Scarlett Tuitions in 10th standard i tried.. worked ok.. but I didnt lose my fear of maths. I was a commerce student.. so do not really know about organic chemistry!!!! :)

@Shruti I too asked for qual!!!!!!!!!!! Can you beat that!! The book is nice.. more about history than numbers.. I am not reading as much as I would want to though!!

mêlée said...

I hate mathematics - i guess even much more than you. I feel nauseated!
I was always a language studies or social studies person as a I would pick English and History as my fav subjects.

Moonshine said...

@melee english was my favourite at school!!! Though ever since I started reading history.. I wondered why I didnt like it!!! I know now.. my teacher!!!!