SHIFT Magazine - Page 32

SHIFT Math - Just the very thought of it makes most people have a visceral reaction. Its a very unpopular subject in school for a few reasons. This article is important because my own fear of math affected my life. In 9th grade, I failed pre-algebra three times, and ended up not taking my SATs because I was scared. I then failed out of high school. I saw absolutely no value in learning math and there was nothing to relate it to in my real life. This series of actions caused a ripple effect. I was ineligible to apply for four year colleges because of no SATs. I did poorly on EVERY standardized test that had a quantitative section which kept me out of the FBI and Officer School. Because of this, I could not be an engineer, scientist, doctor, software developer or anything needing high math skills. Think about that. Any type of professional, high level career was now gone because I let fear rule my life. I was able to turn things around and went to electronics school. It helped me get an electronics job in the Air Force, which led to me teaching Engineering at a high school when I got out. These days, things are much different. I have been a technical writer and deal with all kinds of high level math concepts involving fluid flow, electronic current, pressure and more. Here is a pic of my book shelf at my old job: As you can see, I overcame my fear by applying math concepts to things that I found fun and interesting. Learning became much easier: Skateboarding Electronic Circuits Robotics Sound Systems Programming I have helped clients and teens remove their fear by a few easy steps which I will share. 32