Math Survival Guide: Think You Stink at Math? 01
"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work."
| Do you think you’re bad at math? If you’re reading this book, chances
are that you do. It’s also a good bet that, at some point, someone TOLD you
that you were bad at math.
Most people can think of one thing, one incident, one terrible haunting
memory that has made them think they stink at this stuff.
At the beginning of one semester, I had a student come up to talk to me
after class. He was a very athletic and even nice-looking guy… but he didn’t
look happy at all. His shoulders were drooped and he walked with his head
down. He told me that he was really worried that he wasn’t going to be able to
pass my class (Beginning Algebra) because he was really bad at math. I
asked him what had happened to make him think this. He told me a story that
happened to him way back in the third grade. He remembered that he was up
at the board, in front of the whole class, trying to do a long division problem.
He just wasn’t getting it. The poor kid tried and tried and couldn’t get it. The
teacher was trying to help him – in front of everyone – and he still wasn’t
getting it. Finally, out of frustration, the teacher said, “How can you be so
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