ladyfalcon: (Farce!)
[personal profile] ladyfalcon
I have not been posting, because I am home, and home is boring. I have been having a bit of fun seeing friends and hanging out (mostly Krystle and David - everyone else has been busybusy), and I have a few nice things coming up soon (Hershey Park with the college group, possible cross-country roadtrip with my grandfather?) but for the moment things are mostly blah.

Or they would be if I hadn't decided that I really want to try to apply to grad school for the semester starting in January. To which aim, I decided I should re-take the GRE (my first scores weren't terrible but also not nearly as good as my SATs). So I bought a book and told myself I should study. But that shit just was not getting done, so last night after coming home at 1 from watching TV with David and his girlfriend, and playing WoW till 3 (lol, my LIFE), I decided that the best way to motivate myself to study would be to register to take the test, so I have like, you know, a definitive deadline and shit.

So, guess who's taking the GREs on the 10th of August? Guess who volunteered (paid a shit ton, even) to take a long, boring, and incredibly difficult test that almost all grad schools require but that no one can tell you how much they actually affect getting in because opinion on how much they measure anything that matters is widely varied? (I mean, thank god they only test the same material as the SATs, that's hard enough, but what the fuck does testing on stuff I learned back in high school and haven't studied since have to do with how well I'll do in grad school?) And it's just like the SATs only hey, this time you're not allowed to use a calculator? (wtf?!?) Yeah. That would be this kid.

So now I need to slog through this stuff. It is amazing, absolutely amazing, to me, how easily my brain picks up certain pieces of information while completely rejecting others. Basically anything I can read about (facts, quotes, dates, themes) in any subject will pretty much stick and hang around for as long as I need it. Math, though... In high school, my father would sit down with me (or phone me) every single night, and go through my math homework, problem by problem, explaining the concept and the rules to every one. And the next night we would do it again, usually with the same type of problem. And it would be as totally new information to me. Like water off a duck's back, everything I had learned would be gone within the next 24 hours. And I seriously do not understand this. I want very badly to be good at math. I am very drawn to science, I love science, but one reason I could never achieve anything with it academically is that all science is based in math. I would, frankly, give up in a heartbeat any ability I might have with words for even just an equal facility with math, because it is so necessary for understanding things, and also seems like a much straighter path to changing the world for the better. It's nice to be able to communicate, but fuck, I mean, my own social awkardness gets in the way of that often enough. Math Is Power. The poster said it and I believe it and fuck, I just want IN on it so badly.

Also, whether reading words or numbers, all that information? Is coming in THROUGH MY EYES. Why is my brain so picky about accepting certain types of information that come in through the same source? How can it even differentiate between the two? I would love to do some sort of a study to try to find an answer, but I can't, because I'm not a scientist because my brain hates math. Argh.


Date: 2009-07-08 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Argh math, I agree. That's why I have this icon.

Date: 2009-07-08 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never heard of a case like that before. Have you tried forcing it into your everyday life? The lack of any sort of continual presence could be the issue, rather than some absolute difference in brain receptivity, you know - it's a lot easier to avoid thinking about math than it is to avoid thinking, I'd imagine.

Date: 2009-07-09 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Did you not read the part of the story where this was going on when I was in high school, and my dad had to help me with my math homework every day? So at the time, I was thinking about it every day? I don't think not thinking about it is the issue. Also I know lots of very clever people who aren't able to learn math with the same facility they learn other things.

Date: 2009-07-09 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't miss it, but I was saying that there's a difference between having distinct math time and having math be a part of your life. Maybe there isn't any difference between the two, but I know that when I was a kid I was doing math all the time (and yes, I know that's just a chicken-egg situation, but it's all I've got).

I'm not arguing against the possibility, but I would at the very least argue against deciding on a viewpoint that could easily be self-defeating.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah--I know a lot of them too. You're definitely not alone there.

But I have no idea why it is. I also know that some people can't learn a foreign language to save their lives, whereas others pick them up quickly, with exactly the same instruction. (and I'm talking about people who started studying their first foreign language at 14 or 18 or 21--with language, we know that exposure before the age of 5 is hugely important, but there can still be disparities in people who didn't have that exposure. I don't know what we know about math.)

Date: 2009-07-09 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, it's unfortunate, but I think I might also fall into the category of people who can't learn foreign languages with any ease! I studied French (albeit with no great degree of dedication) from the time I was in kindergarten until 5th grade (although granted a lot of that was the same things over and over - as I learned teaching myself, there are a limited number of subjects of enough interest to young children to bother teaching) and then from 9th to 11th, and I still doubt I could even manage to get around Paris with no English. In Prague, I managed to pick up the same amount of Czech in a 7 month period, which might be one reason why I found French so difficult - I wasn't actually trying to speak it most of the time. Which probably bears out Mr. Kast's point, that there is a difference between distinct math time and math as a lifestyle.

That being said, I don't know really how to incorporate math into my day to day, especially new math. I mean, I can calculate tips pretty effortlessly, but how does one integrate algebra into the everyday?

Date: 2009-07-10 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right--I think Mr. Kast's point made more sense to me with languages--it's really obvious how one would make French a lifestyle rather than a subject, but algebra and geometry? Hells no.

Date: 2009-07-09 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahaha. Just last night I finally cracked open my GRE practice book and started relearning, like, eighth-grade math, because I'm planning to take the test sometime in August, too. OH GOD. I feel your pain.

Date: 2009-07-09 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm studying to take them in the first week of September! I've never taken them before, and I'm with you in that the math (and the no calculator) is feeling really painful right now. My duck's back is a little more, uh, spongy when it comes to the math. But pssh, you're good with words. Don't idolize math--it only gets you in the bad situation of dating mathematicians, who are in the main way jerkier than non-mathematicians.

Also, did I miss what kind of grad school you were going to apply to? Gonna go back now.

Date: 2009-07-09 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think I mentioned that I am applying to programs for international relations/political science. One of my (many) problems is that I am interested in many things AND I don't have a very clear view of where I want to go in life. I don't have a 'dream job,' I just have a shopping list of things I would like any job to have, such as: something where I can travel, make enough money that I can live comfortably, prefer not to take work home after the work day is done, prefer to work in Europe if possible (better benefits, better vacations), etc. Unfortunately I feel that such a generic list is going to lead to me doing some work that is "beneath my abilities," whatever that means. I would like do do work that is meaningful, but defining what exactly that means is becoming difficult. Add to that the fact that I am not very decisive (my biggest fear is making a decision I can't go back on and thus closing paths for myself), and you basically have a big mess.

I am always impressed with people like you who are not only academically talented and dedicated, but also able to make decisions. I mean, those decisions change (I remember when you were in high school and planning to concentrate on outsider art academically), but you are at least able to make them, whereas I spend so much time wittering about it that I tend to close doors to myself just by being indecisive.

Date: 2009-07-10 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, nice! There are a bunch of people here in Turkey who do IR type programs and so I am learning some more about what you do in them. Are you thinking of going back abroad to do graduate school for the reasons of it being (1) cheaper and (2) in Europe and all that and (3) thus more likely to get you a job in Europe? I do remember being impressed at the $3,000 dollar program in Prague--some girl here is applying for programs in Belgium so she can do European Union stuff.

I told someone the other day (who I was trying to convince to be more decisive) that I like making elaborate plans and decisions because they get you moving in such a way that even if there is drift (and there always is), you are at least in a different place from where you were, since my biggest fear is probably being in the same place for a long period of time.

Not that that will change your personality, but I liked the aphorism.


ladyfalcon: (Default)

October 2011


Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 08:26 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios