Fears, Fate and Having that Spark

I'm a scientist when it comes to the brain. The neurological pathways grooved in our brains are habits. I have a fear of public speaking. When I freeze, If I can talk science, the words flow from years of teaching science.

I'm afraid I am guilty of being a "Jack of all trades and Master of none" when it comes to science. I could be a quasi master of a few topics. It depends on how knowledgeable the person I am speaking to is.

But I know the fundamentals so well. This is especially true of chemistry and algebra. I don't know that I remember a lot of Algebra or Trigonometry or Calculus. But I can tell you most children who have trouble with algebra do so because they don't understand the fundamental equation X + 5 = 7    X = 2

Most kids will say I can do it in my head. Well yes, anyone can. But can you remember the process so that you can diagram that process later in a more difficult equation. The process being
X + 5 = 7
X + 5 - 5 = 7 - 5 
X = 2

I'll spare you the lesson in Chemistry.

When you are under stress, your mathematical ability bottoms out. This is why I tried to keep children feeling good in my classroom. One reason I tutored were some kids were shell-shocked from their dad's impatience in helping them with math. There was one mom through the years that I knew about. I'm sure there was a multitude of others. One child's mother had to give her child permission to excel. Mom made the mistake of telling her child how poorly she did in math. Child began to do poorly. She was loyal. 

One thing I learned through the years is that a break or a little play would increase the amount of learning I could get. The mind needs time to process information.

I'm taking a break from the blog until the middle of January. I'm getting my house clean for Thanksgiving and the Holidays. I'll be visiting blogs and writing in general. Cheers.

Lizard on my purse in my car. I got him out and he skedaddled
 into some bushes. We haven't had a hard freeze yet.


Comments

  1. Great shot of the lizard :-) Have a great day Diane

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    1. He certainly did a good job matching him or herself to my purse. Thanks Diane.

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  2. Crappy thing for mom to say.
    Enjoy your break! I'll be off around Thanksgiving and then for at least half of December.

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    1. When I start talking about teaching, I need to replenish the well. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas. They go by so quickly.

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  3. That mother needed more common sense. the mind needs a break indeed, enjoy your break.

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    1. There are some crazy things well meaning parents say. Like I remember when, add embellishment of minor prank they heard about. Then they don't understand why their child did what they said they did.

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  4. Replies
    1. We are social animals. They say the desire to learn is rooted in wanting to be with the human need for kinship.

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  5. Love the lizard. Enjoy your break.
    I come from a family where only 'maths and science brains' were valued. I have less skill than the rest of the family in those areas and was told (and believed till my thirties) that I was stupid.
    And interestingly I have never had trouble with algebra. Something else I didn't realise till a lot later.

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    1. There are lots of different smarts. My family prized the math and science bit too. It doesn't help you one wit in many situations.

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  6. That would have freaked me out about the lizard. You handled it so much more better than I would have handled it. Enjoy the break! Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    betty

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    1. I'm a warm, hot climate person so I am used to a lot of creatures. I hate it when they get in the house. I usually find their dried, shriveled bodies. Not enough water in the air for them to thrive. Of course a colony of them would never be good. lol

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  7. Enjoy the break and try not to pick up any more lizard hitch hikers.

    We only needed one year of math in high school, so geometry was as far as I went. (My teacher was so unhappy I was quitting and not moving on.) I don't remember much algebra, but I do use it sometimes.

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    1. Ironically, I did the same. Then went on to major in pre-Med in college. Not the brightest move on my part. Except math was my subject. If math scores were the only thing judged, I may be a retired doctor today.

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  8. Enjoy your time off from blogging. You'll be missed.

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    1. That is very kind of you Debby. Thank you.

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  9. Enjoy your break. I'm taking one closer to the holidays. I've always thought play breaks were great too but schools are cutting recess time and PE time so they can work towards all the high stakes testing they do. It's too bad.

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    1. When I taught stoichiometry in chemistry, I would break when the kids got this look on their face and pass out candy bars. Not that healthy but they enjoyed them. It was enough of a break to get that intense concentration back on and hopefully an understanding of what I was teaching.

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  10. With A Ph.D. in math, you would think I'd have no problem tutoring my kids and helping them with their homework. But then comes Common Core. It's a nice idea, but the execution can be maddening. The number of steps required in their exercises drive me batty sometimes. My older daughter avoids my help unless she is desperate because "the old ways" often are not awarded any credit. They must do things the "new" way.

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    1. I've seen some of the "new ways". They can't accept that some children need more help or may never comprehend the material so they make a new route. I used to love to get a fifth grade teacher's students who taught all wrong. They could divide.

      There is a skill set for everything. People don't always know the amount of repetition it takes for some children to be able to grasp a pattern and apply it to a new situation. However, unless it is for building for transfer in a later procedure; as long as the answer is correct what is wrong with the old way.

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  11. It bothers me that I see less and less people taking breaks at work these days for exactly that reason, plus it is unhealthy. If you stand all day, you need to sit a spell. If you sit all day, you need to get up and walk around. And you need to think of something totally unrelated to what you do. I'd read for 10 minutes in a book, or talk with someone, or even walk around and pick up trash or pull weeds for 10 minutes. Then when I got back to my desk, I had more energy and often times a solution to a problem or improvement to a procedure would just come to me.

    Enjoy your break and have a blessed and happy holiday season!

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    1. So true, to get up and walk a bit has always helped me. I've always tried to quit working after a certain time of the evening. I'm not always successful, but I try.

      I hope your holidays are merry.

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  12. I can recall my father helping me with my homework and I sensed his impatience with me. But in retrospect I think he was being very patient and it was I the one being impatient. I usually tried to avoid asking for help because I liked doing things on my own, but I appreciate those times when he did help me even though I felt uncomfortable about it then. I think I always feared being a failure in his eyes and was nervous that he would think poorly of me if I didn't understand something. I'm pretty sure now that I was wrong.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  13. This rang very true for me, Ann. I grew up surrounded by the idea that I wasn't good at math... Maybe because my mom hated it, and those dislikes, in spite of a parent's best intentions, have a way of trickling down to a child. For whatever reason, I never excelled at it. Until, early in high school, I had a *brilliant* algebra teacher. All of a sudden I began getting As. More importantly than the grades, though, I discovered the joy of it. The subject of preconditioning is one that fascinates me.

    Have a wonderful holiday season, Ann, and thank you so much for your lovely comments over at Life In Dogs... Much, much appreciated, my friend :)

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  14. I love algebra. And I love physics. I'm trying to learn the periodic table because I find it fascinating. Thanks for visiting my blog. Keep writing. I often want to quit, too, but the stories won't let me, just like with you.

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