stupid problem

embarrassingly simple math since forever

I should have been years ahead of my peers

momentary lack of algebraic insight ("I could solve this in an instant if only I could get rid of that radical")

for which I've had the intuitions since before 11th grade when they began teaching it to us

Sorry to jump from object-level to meta-level here but it seems pretty clear that the problem here is not just about math. Your subjective assessments of how difficult these topics are is inconsistent with how well you report you are doing at them. And you're attaching emotions of shame and panic ("problem has snowballed") to observations that should just be objective descriptions of where you are now. Get these issues figured out first (unless you're in some educational setting with its own deadlines). Math isn't going anywhere; it will still be there when you're in a place where doing it won't cause you distress.

I can see how it would sound to an outside observer now that you point it out, but in my situation at least I have trouble buying into the idea that math isn't going anywhere. The problem really is urgent; there are loads of fields I want to study that build upon math (and then upon each other), and it just isn't feasible that I can further postpone deep, lasting learning of basic math concepts any further, until after I'm in the "right mindset" for it. There just isn't time, and my neuroplasticity won't get any better with age. It'll take me at ... (read more)

Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014

by MrMind 1 min read17th Nov 2014329 comments


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