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More math and wow - what a refreshing frustrating journey

by Mountain Computers Inc., Publication Date: Monday, January 24, 2022
View Count: 616, Keywords: Math, Frustration, Journey, Hashtags: #Math #Frustration #Journey

Oregon Tech overall in my experience was a great undergraduate experience. There was just one, no, maybe two hiccups yet figured it out in the end.
In this day and age, all I can say, when you have to learn or relearn some new mathematical concepts, this reminds me of having to audit Calculus a few times in my undergraduate degree at Oregon Tech before I got it. I started the class not as an audit, yet after two to three weeks switched realizing, it was over my head and I was going to fail the exams because I could barely keep up with the speed of the professor on the whiteboard and their speedy tongues and expected look at you, like, you get it, right, you should, if not, well, do your homework, I am too busy, lets move on. Frustrating.
Even the best mathematics professors on campus who were geniuses in their own mind I could learn from nor grasp their repeated understanding. They just whizzed past it all and expected you to grasp it. It was almost like they were in a hurry to share the basis and root of the theories. At least now we have YouTube to explain things ad infinitum and at a level where one can grasp the concept, the application and the overall purpose.
For me, Calculus 101, 201, 301, and so on was hard to grasp. I could do tons of mathematics (trignometry, geometry, financial, accounting, etc and even some higher level math..) in my head generally speaking and on paper; yet for this thing called differential and inferential whatever to infinity and beyond was above my pay grade at the time. It was not until some tall lanky thin profession named Ben Cornelius from Oregon Tech during a summer class would slow it down and used some great communication metaphors and tools slowly until the lights went on and I got it; FOREVER! I was so thankful at that moment, I got it. Forever thankful was I to him.
In the end, even today; that is why I slow things down a bit when I am trying to teach, share, and learn. If you always run while learning, the stumble and fall will be much harder and more painful. Tis best to learn and relearn at a walking pace with open and fair tone and language; then, once grasped, in person, on a whiteboard on paper, rather than just talk; then one can start to jog and run with the new concepts, formulas and understanding, and share it, prove it, and enjoy it. In some classes you have a few months to figure things out yet today, you have a few days to a few weeks and that's it. Maybe I am getting old, maybe that is how it was in the past all the same. I forget, yet I do remember the joy of learning something new in mathematics and using it for some great cause, project, and daily wonderment of life.
Just because some professor says you should have learned it by now does not mean you are wrong; it just means they are impatient. Give yourself a break and don't get too stressed out about some who know things that they believe should be common sense for others; lots of us have gifts that have nothing to do with higher mathematics; its called; patience and friendliness; perseverance and willingness.
Math is good. Math is great. Its not for everyone to be able to understand and apply E=mc^2 in a few weeks. Give yourself some breathing room and explore and expand your search and study until you fall upon that trinket that brings it all together and now you understand it and can apply it.
Oregon Tech overall in my experience was a great undergraduate experience.
note: What were the hiccups? Sophomore year (calculus) and Senior year (senior project - my faculty senior project professor and advisor were extremely helpful to get me through it! I bit off more than I could chew! doh! I still have the project in my lab on the shelf. I reminisce). Other than that - it was awesome! The professors were awesome, faculty and all; the administration by far was excellent, yet it had a few warts in it that needed to be removed (like most quasi government institutions); the error existing (non-customer friendly, needing to learn from the real work force how client / customer #1 focus, satisfaction and attention really works); yet overall, i loved it! graduated. still love it 3-4 decades later.
more to come...

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