On Schoolwork: What the hell is this equation? Do I need to study this? How will I ever use this in my life?

Calculus. Physics. Trigonometry. Statistics. Pi. Area of a circle. Area of a parallelogram. Velocity. Pythagorean theorem. Sampling distribution of the mean. Sin. Cos. Tan—what the f***?!!!

What are these? Why am I studying all these? How will these complicated annoying numbers and Greek letters affect my life?

Oh please kill me now!!!

 

Science and Mathematics with all its formulas and numbers seemed to make schoolwork so annoyingly complicated for students. What if a student’s goal in life is to be a writer? Or to be an actress, or a model, or a musician? How the hell would he/she ever use all those formulas?

We frequently hear these complaints from students. But not all of course. There are those who love such computing tasks but those who do only encompass a certain percentage of the student population. And so many others struggle with difficulty when presented with these complicated problem solving tasks at school.

If you are reading this article, then it is highly probable that you are one of these students. You’re not alone in this of course. I, myself, had gone through this. In fact, I am going through all these right now. I have a Statistics class and there are so many of those formulas and numbers and ugh, well, statistics, that I have to study and be familiarized with and I had a session or two when the professor kept on going and going, blurting equations and processes that I wasn’t able to understand so quickly and while she does her job there on the front of the auditorium, the only thing that goes in my mind is: ‘f*** this’, ‘what the hell?’, ‘what did she say?’, ‘this is stupid’, ‘stupid lecture I don’t understand any of this’, ‘f***’, and so on and so forth.

Mind you, I like mathematics. It’s one of my favorite subjects and I like computations. But now I am having this trouble and just, oh well… sh*t.

Then I started to question myself if ever I will actually need all of these. Then afterwards there comes this increased lack of desire to study and understand those numbers. And for sure, the same thing can also go to the minds of the other students too.

Like you, maybe?

Of course, people will tell you that these lectures are important, like for example in business transactions, future jobs in architecture, or engineering, accounting, etc. But I know, it’s not an immediate concern for us and this kind of thought wouldn’t give enough motivation for us to put more effort in studying. You must have had similar moments of outrage and irritation (like mine) when the teachers ask you to solve math problems that you don’t want to understand.

(alright, imagine me sighing here… <sigh> )

My friend, I had an enlightenment. And I want to share with you a piece of my mind. Yes, we might not need to know those formulas and problem solving computations at present or even maybe in future jobs but you know what, these schoolwork do not entirely intend to teach its academic value ONLY. I mean, there is more to these schoolwork than knowing the value of x, or knowing the initial velocity of this truck, that plane,  or getting the 90% confidence interval estimate of the mean, etcetera, etcetera. I tell you, there is more to it than that. And it’s all just a matter of perspective.

(Okay, warning, this will get a little bit serious and deep)

It’s all about survival. The world is a cruel place. And us, humans, are evolved beings who are capable of thinking. Now these lectures may be very difficult but all of them are only one form of preparing you on how to live when you get out of your school’s safe walls.

How? In the form of thinking. Yes, as simple as that. To think. To analyze. To understand. To use the brain.

It’s a practice of sharpening the mind, enhancing logical skills. Because out there in the world, you need to use your mind a lot, not only to survive, but also, to achieve your goals, to get what you want, and to help others too.

When this particular thought occurred to me, I began to see everything in a much simpler sense. The math teachers are only asking me to understand right? So I tried. And I put myself together and cleared my mind to (at least once) focus, with great deal, on a specific lecture.

And guess what, everything becomes clearer, and easier for me. LOL! I realized how stupid I was when I understood the lectures. It wasn’t really that difficult at all.

Now I’m going to give a simple instruction on dealing with problem solving items in many schoolwork in mathematics and science in general:

In math classes, you are given a problem. And what you had to do is to understand the situation given.

  • Read carefully. Imagine the situation given. If you can, create a movie in your mind.
  • Identify what the problem is.
  • Then analyze how you’re going to solve it. (There are given formulas, determine which one you should use.)
  • Then, from the given situation, look for the items/values that you need.
  • List those important details and label them.
  • Write the formula, substitute the numbers, and then solve with simple arithmetic.
  • Once you got an answer, have it checked. Compare with classmates, consult your teacher.
  • Lastly, practice. (You can look for more math problems and try to solve it)

That’s basically it.

<happy, grinning, stupid face>

In conclusion, dear friends, these math problems are important. Having a difficulty? Don’t ever think you won’t really need those lessons. That’s the mindset of a lazy person.

Just suck it up and put more effort. It’s a practice for the brain. Whatever your job will be in the future, you will need to use your brain. You can’t just let your brain go to waste, can you?

So good luck!

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