What comes into a student’s mind whenever s/he hears the word "Mathematics"? Hard, impossible, confusing? No, I’m not going to preach hate about Math, there are way too many people who have already done that. I’m no geek, but I love Math. Not because I find it easy [it’s considerably hard…], but because it has taught me more about myself…

When I was still young, in 1999, my grades were alright… save for one: Mathematics. I always failed in those tests and quizzes. I wouldn’t even be surprised if I got a zero in full red ink. So I asked myself… Why? I love Math, but why wouldn’t it love me back? And so I became a Math-hater who loathed the sight of numbers and equations. Like most students, I was an advocate of abolishing Math from the curriculum. I failed miserably…

Many years have passed, and I needed to keep my grades up. So I joined a Math Supplementary Class, Kumon, that emphasized self-learning and the like. So they gave me some simple worksheets. No sweat. Adding numbers isn’t so hard. Subtracting too. As time went by, I rose to higher levels, with greater challenges. Greater heights, greater risks. Right now, I’m working on some weird equation I can’t understand…

Now, I’ve grown to love Math all over again. Why? Because it has taught me a great deal about myself. I discovered why I failed in Math class: Because I hated Math. My dislike for the subject weakened my mind, and in so doing, weakened my personality. This crippled my understanding, my growth. My approach on the subject extinguished my passion, my desire to learn, to grow, to accept…

It’s how we approach things that matter. How do you approach Math? Do you approach it with disgust and hate as I did? Do you consider it an obstacle, an enemy or an impossible task? Or do you consider it a challenge for you to grow?

Mathematics is not all numbers. Inside it lies the discipline to work, analyze and solve. Accuracy is also an issue. Miss a decimal and you’re screwed. Forget a variable, fail the test. Within it lies the perseverance to work, the patience to understand and the logic to solve.

To acquire that much needed Math knowledge, I needed to become more patient and more persevering. It meant long hours of pondering on an equation’s solution. Long hours of study, long hours of thinking. Math has taught me how to do that. It has taught me to use my common sense [that I lack] as much as possible. (Anyone knows that 1+1 isn’t 11…). It has taught me to be more open to new possibilities. (There are many ways to solve problems right?). It has taught me how to take action, how to take risks. (Trial and error on my part…).

And now, I can say that I’m a better person, a better man. Not because I did great on that test last Friday, but because I learned that Math need not be an obstacle to my dreams, but on the contrary, be an inspiration to spur me forward- to the hopes of today, and the dreams of tomorrow!

There’s a four-letter word where I applied the lessons I learned from Math. It’s called Life. And like Math, how can I approach it? How can you?

## Muntah

/ March 13, 2006Ms Lou’s stuff is getting to you :P!…

Jokes aside, I have the same ‘philosophy’ about math.

Great minds….. <– I wish 😦