# Kids/Teens Book Club discussion

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Math Complaint Department!

*Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."*

Most sciences are some kind of applied math : )"

How unfo..."

Most sciences are some kind of applied math : )"

How unfo..."

oh come on, algebra 2 is really neat stuff

I like Algebra. I hated Geometry. Or maybe I just didn't focus in that class. I did it though distance learning. I like calculus

I hated Geometry too, and I don't even mind geometric things at the university level. So they just must be doing something wrong or stupid. I LOVE calculus.

*Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."*

Most sciences are some kind of applied mat..."

Most sciences are some kind of applied mat..."

Okay, it has SOME interesting stuff in it, but most of it is just confusing.

*Adam wrote: "I hated Geometry too, and I don't even mind geometric things at the university level. So they just must be doing something wrong or stupid. I LOVE calculus."*

I love pretty much all math, the only thing I don't like are graphs and conics. Algebra is my favorite though :)

*Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."*

Most sciences are some kind o..."

Most sciences are some kind o..."

Once it is no longer confusing it is usually pretty interesting. However, I think it takes a considerable amount of work to make it not confusing.

*Kate wrote: "I really liked both Algebra and Geometry. Especially proofs. They were really fun."*

But when I learned how to do real proofs, we never really did them the same way. So I'm left wondering what the point of Geometry class was?

*Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."*

Most sciences..."

Most sciences..."

I think I would honestly enjoy math more if it wasn't so hard for me...same with chem.

*Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."*

..."

..."

Well math isn't necessarily the easiest thing to learn for everyone. I had a very hard time with it when I was in high school. I can't say I really learned math until I was out of school. But when I was in high school I never tried very hard, I typically did my homework before class and I never read the text books. When I sat down and actually read the text books and worked problems on my own, math became so much more insightful.

Did you ever do an AP math course? I am, and I think that it must be why I'm struggling with it so much. Maybe I would do better if I just did the "normal" Alg 2 class...I'd rather get good grades in an easier class than bad grades in a harder class. :(

*Arienna wrote: "Did you ever do an AP math course? I am, and I think that it must be why I'm struggling with it so much. Maybe I would do better if I just did the "normal" Alg 2 class...I'd rather get good grades ..."*

No, I never did an AP course. The worth of switching to a regular level course depends on how much more you think you can learn. If you aren't getting much out of the AP course and you feel a slower pace would help you learn more then you should switch. Getting "good grades" is meaningless, what you should be concerned with in a school setting is how much you are learning.

People place way too much emphasis on grades, what if you have a terrible instructor that teaches you nothing but you get an A anyway? Can you even claim to understand the material? On the flip side, what if you have a hard instructor that works you real hard and you get a C+, but you've learned more than ever before. which is better?

You're right, but its hard to think that way when there is so much pressure. But I wouldn't say that getting good grades is meaningless, because they help you get into a better college, and if you get into a better college, then you'll learn more than at a poor college. Right?

Yes, I mean grades are important because if your GPA is really low then you miss out on a bunch of really good scholarships but learning the actual information is important too.

Well that's part of my problem, with the whole system in general. They've decided to make this arbitrary system to measure a students performance. But it really all depends on the teacher a lot of times. I had a teacher that gave me a B in a course, this course takes a while to catch on to and your first grades (for everyone in the class) are awful. But the teacher insists on being totally objective and only counting your raw scores. It didn't matter if you really understood the subject matter to an A level at the end.

So it's incredibly difficult to come up with a purely objective way to measure a students performance. Do you grade on hard work? Understanding? Or Raw scores, even though the student eventually understood? On the flip side how subjective SHOULD you be? I've seen some instructors that like a student, so that student will pass whether they deserve it or not!

The worst part is now they've conditioned students to tie all kinds of meaning to these things, such as getting scholarships. So now this gives a lot of pressure to get good grades at all costs. Another problem is that in most cases it doesn't matter where you get your undergraduate degree, they are usually the same. I go to a state school and it's undergrad program in mathematics isn't all that different from a school like MIT. Graduate School is where you really get a big difference in quality of education.

To further exacerbate this problem the need for going to a good (i.e. expensive) university is further reinforced by the business world in more likely hiring people that go to these schools. When the person at the "cheap" school, did all the same stuff and could have done even better!

There are a lot of problems in the education system, but you need to do what's best for you to get where YOU want to go. Which is another issue, because you're being told "choose a major" when no one in high school or college has ever even worked in the industry for which they are majoring. I feel like that's a dishonest thing too... try and figure out how to fix that. Sure internships exist, but those are usually for College Juniors/Seniors and by then it's hard to suddenly switch majors and "re-start".

Sorry to come off all "doom and gloom", but for someone that loves learning, I talk to a lot of students who just don't have a passion for it. Which makes me wonder why they even bothered going to college at all.

So it's incredibly difficult to come up with a purely objective way to measure a students performance. Do you grade on hard work? Understanding? Or Raw scores, even though the student eventually understood? On the flip side how subjective SHOULD you be? I've seen some instructors that like a student, so that student will pass whether they deserve it or not!

The worst part is now they've conditioned students to tie all kinds of meaning to these things, such as getting scholarships. So now this gives a lot of pressure to get good grades at all costs. Another problem is that in most cases it doesn't matter where you get your undergraduate degree, they are usually the same. I go to a state school and it's undergrad program in mathematics isn't all that different from a school like MIT. Graduate School is where you really get a big difference in quality of education.

To further exacerbate this problem the need for going to a good (i.e. expensive) university is further reinforced by the business world in more likely hiring people that go to these schools. When the person at the "cheap" school, did all the same stuff and could have done even better!

There are a lot of problems in the education system, but you need to do what's best for you to get where YOU want to go. Which is another issue, because you're being told "choose a major" when no one in high school or college has ever even worked in the industry for which they are majoring. I feel like that's a dishonest thing too... try and figure out how to fix that. Sure internships exist, but those are usually for College Juniors/Seniors and by then it's hard to suddenly switch majors and "re-start".

Sorry to come off all "doom and gloom", but for someone that loves learning, I talk to a lot of students who just don't have a passion for it. Which makes me wonder why they even bothered going to college at all.

It's okay, and alot of your points are what a handful of us who really despise the stystem bring up.

i think that http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ph... also apply to maths .i see the importance of maths in the world but that doesn't mean that i like them...

My math teacher is creepy she talks about the most random stuff and is bipolar is swear..It's funny though cause I get away with everything in that class I Mean EVERYTHING...:)

My math teacher is really nice. Although he is nice, he is a really tough grader, so my grades keep going up then down, up then down. In math class I cant get away with anything. Although my math teacher is better than my other teachers.

Ugh math is so stressful atm. Like, I have 2 lessons on a subject and then I have a test on it? AND THERE'S SO MUCH TO REMEMBER. AND ARGH.

*Regan ♥ wrote: "Ugh math is so stressful atm. Like, I have 2 lessons on a subject and then I have a test on it? AND THERE'S SO MUCH TO REMEMBER. AND ARGH."*

I completely agree with you. It's so annoying.

I had a test and there was a whole page of stuff that they hadn't taught me and was for the year above me!

>:(

>:(

*Sydney wrote: "My math teacher is really nice. Although he is nice, he is a really tough grader, so my grades keep going up then down, up then down. In math class I cant get away with anything. Although my math t..."*

You could try talking to him to get extra help with what you need.

*Regan ♥ wrote: "Ugh math is so stressful atm. Like, I have 2 lessons on a subject and then I have a test on it? AND THERE'S SO MUCH TO REMEMBER. AND ARGH."*

This is going to sound like a lot of work but take notes in class in addition to the ones you are given and then re-write them at home and do practice problems on what you are learning (check out purplemath.com and Khan academy for practice problems and different ways to do the same thing). I struggled in math for part of last year because I didn't take good notes and I learn by taking notes once I started taking really precise and in-depth notes, and started re-writing them I did ALOT better. If notes aren't a good way for you to study you can try making flash cards of steps to do something or particular things.

*Cy wrote: "I had a test and there was a whole page of stuff that they hadn't taught me and was for the year above me!*

>:("

>:("

I hate teachers who do that, do you have any idea why yours did? I know sometimes they just want to test your range of knowledge.

Marry me! Courtney! We have so much in common! On seconds thoughts if withdraw my application for marriage. I realised that i myself am a woman and i'm not Lesbian minded. I love men/ boys to much.

Vee xD

Vee xD

*Breanna wrote: "Im doing percenteges man ... ughh.. I just hate math sooo much!!"*

Well, percentages aren't that interesting. So you shouldn't judge mathematics by those kinds of topics.

*Breanna wrote: "Im doing percenteges man ... ughh.. I just hate math sooo much!!"*

I actually kind of lijke percentages ....

I like percenteges they arent very hard. Its just math overall that i dont like im not good with numbers lol

*Breanna wrote: "I like percenteges they arent very hard. Its just math overall that i dont like im not good with numbers lol"*

Real math doesn't really involve numbers much though. The theory behind how they work is more important.

I neither hate nor love algebra because my teacher is very approachable. Anytime I get confused, I always ask him.

I'm actually not sure if school gives any students a good notion of what math really is or what it deeply involves.

*Adam wrote: "I'm actually not sure if school gives any students a good notion of what math really is or what it deeply involves."*

According to my older friends who have degrees in math, no not really.

*Adam wrote: "Breanna wrote: "I like percenteges they arent very hard. Its just math overall that i dont like im not good with numbers lol"*

Real math doesn't really involve numbers much though. The theory behi..."

Real math doesn't really involve numbers much though. The theory behi..."

I just hate math. I don't care about the the work behind it I would rather be reading! LOL!

*Breanna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Breanna wrote: "I like percenteges they arent very hard. Its just math overall that i dont like im not good with numbers lol"*

Real math doesn't really involve numbers much though. Th..."

Real math doesn't really involve numbers much though. Th..."

What exactly do you hate about it though?

And actually, I spend the vast majority of my day reading math.

Irene, that is true. I am not sure why there is a huge disconnect, but there really seems to be.

*Adam wrote: "Breanna wrote: "Adam wrote: "Breanna wrote: "I like percenteges they arent very hard. Its just math overall that i dont like im not good with numbers lol"*

Real math doesn't really involve numbers ..."

Real math doesn't really involve numbers ..."

I think that there is such a disconnect because they are teaching two different things. In elementary, middle, and high school they teach you something so not that you understand why you do it but just how to do it so you can do well enough to pass to the next grade. Yes, some students do understand why but not all most students just understand it enough to do it and get by (sad thing is the teachers are teaching it this way). In college I think you are taught more the concepts of why you do something than how correct?

nah, they sort of keep up the whole "mechanical" how to solve problems in College. The "why" is extremely difficult and most people never take those classes.

My problem with elementary systems, at least when I was in it, was they focused a lot on arithmetic. Adding, subtracting, multiplying etc. If you were good at this you were considered "great at math", but in real math you rarely worry about these types of calculations. It's fairly useless in higher math. So I got branded as "not great at math" because I didn't have a calculator brain like some kids. But in reality, I think I am pretty good at it and it's sad if the system tells kids they're not good at it because they can't multiply 4 times 7 instantly in their heads.

My problem with elementary systems, at least when I was in it, was they focused a lot on arithmetic. Adding, subtracting, multiplying etc. If you were good at this you were considered "great at math", but in real math you rarely worry about these types of calculations. It's fairly useless in higher math. So I got branded as "not great at math" because I didn't have a calculator brain like some kids. But in reality, I think I am pretty good at it and it's sad if the system tells kids they're not good at it because they can't multiply 4 times 7 instantly in their heads.

I like math but absolutely hate fractions, decimals, percents and geometry. For most of this school year we have been working on fractions, decimals and percents. I am completely sick of it.

Getting good at fractions is quite important. That typically stays around as you move on in math.

percents and geometry... those don't stay around much. Unless by geometry you mean you are just learning shapes of things. High School Geometry and the proofs they do don't stay around. In fact that doesn't really teach you method of proof very well and mathematicians don't seem to do it that way.

percents and geometry... those don't stay around much. Unless by geometry you mean you are just learning shapes of things. High School Geometry and the proofs they do don't stay around. In fact that doesn't really teach you method of proof very well and mathematicians don't seem to do it that way.

*Adam wrote: "nah, they sort of keep up the whole "mechanical" how to solve problems in College. The "why" is extremely difficult and most people never take those classes.*

My problem with elementary systems, a..."

My problem with elementary systems, a..."

In the younger grades they do, and I am slightly like that and wasn't thought highly of in math because I couldn't do things instantly but then I passed the gifted/honors test because it was theory based, not time based.

*Adam wrote: "Getting good at fractions is quite important. That typically stays around as you move on in math.*

percents and geometry... those don't stay around much. Unless by geometry you mean you are just ..."

percents and geometry... those don't stay around much. Unless by geometry you mean you are just ..."

What is a proof? I have never head of a proof in my life and I am done with HS math. Is it because my teacher has called them something different? (We don't use textbooks so that may be a reason too).

i hate math!!!!!!!!!!! it doesnt make any sense whatsover! why are you gonna start adding letters to an equation when i can barley understand the numer part of it!!!

*Irene wrote: "What is a proof? I have never head of a proof in my life and I am done with HS math. Is it because my teacher has called them something different? (We don't use textbooks so that may be a reason too). "*

The proofs you use in High School geometry are things mostly from Euclid's "13 Elements" written in about 500 B.C.E. Just about everything in there is called a Direct Proof.

For example, suppose you have a straight line with another line cutting through it... something like this

........\

........a \ b

---------\-----------

.............\ c

..............\

...............\

(Ignore the dots, I needed to use them as a place holder...)

**angle a + angle b = 180 degrees**(or pi radians)

Now I claim that angle a = angle c.

I would use do a direct proof of this showing

**angle c + angle b = 180 degrees**(since this is also a straight line)

This means I can do the following:

**angle c + angle b = angle a + angle b**,

Subtracting angle b from the left:

**angle c + angle b - angle b = angle a + angle b - angle b**

therefore:

**angle c = angle a**

This is a direct proof. Meaning starting from the givens, I wound up with my conclusion.

Their are other kinds of proof methods like Proof by Contradiction, which is a little counter intuitive the first time you see it. In this one you assume that some part of the claim is false, such as

**angle a**is not equal to

**angle c**, for example. And then show that assumption is false, and therefore they must be equal.

The reason this works is because mathematics operates on a "true/false" concept. So if I contradict my claim, then the opposite choice is true or something like that. It's really weird.

An even weirder method of proof is called Proof by Induction. This uses concepts of infinity and it basically says that if something works for the first case and you can show that it works for the (n + 1) case then the claim is true.

I'm honestly still kind of an amateur at this stuff, and I'm just learning how to rigorously state things.

*Isabella wrote: "i hate math!!!!!!!!!!! it doesnt make any sense whatsover! why are you gonna start adding letters to an equation when i can barley understand the numer part of it!!!"*

But math is one of the only subjects that would ever make perfect sense... because there is no question of whether something is true. If you show something is mathematically true, then it's true.

*Adam wrote: "Irene wrote: "What is a proof? I have never head of a proof in my life and I am done with HS math. Is it because my teacher has called them something different? (We don't use textbooks so that may ..."*

Oh, I did those in middle school........expect my teacher called them contrary angles (which sounded odd at the time but I didn't need help so I never looked at a different source).

Ah ok, well in geometry you would do more stuff with shapes and what not. Like showing that two triangles are similar by showing their angles are equal or something. That stuff isn't as useful in the face of heavier things like Analytic Geometry, which is what I mostly use.

*Adam wrote: "Ah ok, well in geometry you would do more stuff with shapes and what not. Like showing that two triangles are similar by showing their angles are equal or something. That stuff isn't as useful in..."*

I am tired so sorry if this ends up worded funny and doesn't make a bit of sense.

I know what you mean with the triangles and that's where you bring the "triangle ABC is congurent to triangle XYZ due to the Side-Side-Side therom " (that may be one of the ones that is faulty so don't quote my words but same concept).

Doesn't it apply to the circle problems where you have lines intersecting a circle and you have to figure the angles, area of the sector, legnth of the lines, ect?

Yeah that's basically it. A lot of that kind of stuff is covered in a High School Geometry class. So if you proved that stuff, you saw the basics.

message 351:by Arienna (new)Adam wrote: "Arienna wrote: "Uugghh, math (alg 2) and Chem are destroying me!!! chemistry is basically all math so...ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh."

Most sciences are some kind of applied math : )"

How unfortunate. Blech.