Sunday, December 1, 2013

Article on "Math People"

Soo.... I wrote an article for Quartz magazine on why so many people identify themselves as "math people" or "non math people" and what we can do about it.  It's the first time I've ever been officially published and I'm both terrified and excited.  The magazine editors came up with the article title and the subheadings but the rest is mostly my work.  Here it is.

I don't know how many people will read it, but so far it's been well worth the two weeks I stressed over it because of some of the wonderful responses I've gotten from former students.  I have to share them.  If the article was terrible, it was worth writing just to get these wonderful words of encouragement from my students.

Student 1: Congratulations on having your article published! I miss having you as my teacher so much! You were the best teacher I have ever had <3

Student 2: You are so brilliant! I am so lucky I had you as my teacher. Not only were you a good teacher, but a super-cool one. I miss you!

Student 3 (this is the one that made me cry): I want to thank you for writing that article. I have been so scared to take another math class because of the last one I took. It was Math 110; basic college Algebra. I failed the class. I went to the math lab regularly, I participated in study groups, office hours, the works. I tried hard, but the teacher just could not explain things in a way that I could understand well and remember. After that class, I decided that I could not ever have a career in the math/science field despite my love for them because I just was not a "math person." A few weeks ago I was reading a Biology/Science textbook and realized that those were the only textbooks I had ever read for fun. I always have. But right then I nearly started crying thinking about how I just did not have the math skills to ever pursue it. Your article has given me hope... I now have the courage to try again. Thank you so much. I am so grateful for the time I had as your student. I know that all of your former students feel the same way. We love you. You are the best. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise