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Old 09-12-2012, 09:32 PM   #16
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First, I want to agree with Kevin...go with your passion. You seem to have a calling, not just 'I want to do something different'. Check it out, you may find it really is your passion, or you may find it's not what you thought.

Next, as far as the math goes. There are many different learning/teaching styles and if you can find someone to teach you in a method that resonates with you it can make a huge difference. When my daughter was middle school she went in hating math but she ended up with an instructor that actually taught each concept in 2 ways, 1 way was one that she 'got'. She sailed through that year because of his teaching method. Sorry, I can't remember the 2 different methods, but they connect with the majority of kids.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:41 PM   #17
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Simon, you're in business school. To succeed there, you must feel comfortable with some advanced math.

If you detest math, then business school may not be your thing.

Most people that are successful financially never went to business school anyway.

So, if you measure success in financial terms, then don't worry, you still have a shot at making money doing something you love.

But don't quit school either.

If you quit school, it will just be easier to quit things later in life.

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:03 PM   #18
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Simon, I saw this on 60 minutes a week ago.

It was an amazing story. A man was asked to help his niece with Algebra. She was in LA, he in MA. He started making simple video's and posting them to youtube. After a while, he started noticing a ton of "hits". One of those "hits" was Bill Gates who was trying to help his child with math.

Bill, along with Google, donated millions of dollars to fund "Kahn Academy". It is a non profit with the goal of providing a world class education for FREE to anyone in the world. The money made it possible to hire other people like Mr Kahn to make these video's.

This system may very well change the way math (and other subjects) are taught.

Good luck!
I've heard of these videos... good things!

My son is 3rd year college and put off his math courses until now... plus a major change to Business Management... well, we are "math-ed" out. We found a software program that you can plug in any math problem and it will walk you through each step explaining it. Covers basic math, algebra, trig/calculus, statistics, etc. It is called "The Algebrator" and we found it at softmath.com.

As we tell our son, be sure to go to the professor if you are struggling. Teachers are supposed to be there to help you learn. If he/she doesn't, see if you can switch to a different teacher.

Do find something that you LOVE! Do remember though that most majors require certain math courses for graduation... just part of the standard requirements.

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:34 AM   #19
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Simon - I'm glad you recognized the need for an outlet to vent that frustration and I hope your anxiety is better (I haven't read all the posts).

Freshman year is a huge stress on all students (even the ones who seem to be breezing through like it's a piece of cake).

Lots of great advice so far and I wish you well. While I was at school, I wish I had made use of the study sessions available to me that were hosted by older college students and grad students. There, I would have found a huge variety of different teaching styles and different approaches to subjects - different than tutoring because not everyone thinks the same way. Maybe someone there can show you something different that will click with you.

My daughter has struggled with math in some ways; she has a different way of thinking about things that makes her unique - very literal and I think struggled with abstract ideas. Anyways, two years ago she got poor grades and was very stressed in math. The following year she had a teacher who could connect with her and she got all A's. More importantly, she was able to understand it! That teacher wanted to "promote" her to a higher level class because she was doing so well and she would have nothing to do with it because this teacher was able to communicate the lessons to her in a way that she could get it.

When I was in school (last century ) I got very high grades in all my math courses and didn't have to work at it. Then I got to senior year and Calculus. Nothing but D's - never could get it. Went on to engineering school and still never got it, went into my mid-term for Calc III with a hangover and a withdrawal slip and never looked back. I switched majors to a science degree which I found more interesting (but lower pay). To this day I feel like a need to take a course to see if I can overcome the challenge of Calculus, not because I need the course, but to see if I can get it - no pressure.

Good luck - sorry for the rambling, just wanted to share some experiences that I've seen and let you know you are not alone in that.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #20
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Its funny - I've got a masters degree in Accounting and really don't care for math either. It was more about how all the numbers came together for me. Fortunately I wound up in a job where the math part was pretty much simple addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. Something easily set up on a spreadsheet. The challenge in my job was to make it "readable" to 3rd parties.

I found that I'm better at writing than I was at the actual numbers themselves. When I thought about it a bit more I realized numbers are just representations of results (or forecasts) they are not the actual product. People need to have what the numbers mean explained to them. That's where my skill was.

So, that probably doesn't help in your current situation Simon but maybe it will help you see that once you struggle through your math classes you can put them behind you. You've probably heard the saying "that which doesn't kill us makes us strong". Well, its true. We find that facing adversity teaches us that our actual limits are far beyond what we think we are capable of.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:18 AM   #21
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If you do stick with business, my recommendation would be to go to office hours as much as you can. Professors love to work with students one on one, and you'll probably get a lot out of it. And if not, you'll know for sure it isn't for you.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:19 AM   #22
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Just offering up more support here! It can be incredibly difficult to feel so "lost" at times. But remember that you are NOT alone! I can bet that there are people in your class who feel the same as you. The fact that you want to talk to your professor is terrific! There are many people (myself included) who struggled in school or college at times and was too embarassed to talk about it with anyone. It's wonderful to see that you have the self confidence to admit it and do something about it!

I echo others' sentiments that you should do something you love! But I also think math is an important skill to have in any profession and in life in general. For that reason I say, do not give up, definitely continue to look for ways to understand it better. I happen to love math but encountered problems in trig. I just didn't understand the practical application. Sine?! What does a wave have to do with numbers? Well, once it was explained in a practical way I had an epiphany! So keep looking for that epiphany moment - you will find it!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #23
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Do go to office hours. I spend most of the time amusing myself. I love it when a student comes by to ask questions. It also gives me a chance to get to know them. Then if they are on the edge for grades, I usually give students I know the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Its funny - I've got a masters degree in Accounting and really don't care for math either.
That is funny! I actually love accounting. I took it for two semesters and did really well in both.

I think the reason I like and understand it is the fact that it is real life stuff. Even down to the simplest of tasks like balancing a ledger or check book, accounting is something that can be applied to everyday life. I also love the technology aspect of it.

Maybe I just have some sort of giant mental block. Every time I'm doing math homework, I think to myself, "When am I EVER going to use this in real life?!"

I can't imagine many instances where I'm going to have to simplify a radical polynomial, or prove that a rectangle is indeed, a rectangle.

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses. I'm going to check out math tutoring next week. It's actually done by teachers or math majors here, so maybe it will end up being helpful.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:52 AM   #25
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That is funny! I actually love accounting. I took it for two semesters and did really well in both.

I think the reason I like and understand it is the fact that it is real life stuff. Even down to the simplest of tasks like balancing a ledger or check book, accounting is something that can be applied to everyday life. I also love the technology aspect of it.

Maybe I just have some sort of giant mental block. Every time I'm doing math homework, I think to myself, "When am I EVER going to use this in real life?!"

I can't imagine many instances where I'm going to have to simplify a radical polynomial, or prove that a rectangle is indeed, a rectangle.

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses. I'm going to check out math tutoring next week. It's actually done by teachers or math majors here, so maybe it will end up being helpful.
I felt the same way about most math classes I took in college (and struggled with most) until I took a Business Math class one of my last semesters at college. That is when everything "clicked" for me with Math. It "clicked" because it was more real life situations instead of something that I would never use. I am a visual learner and to sit in a class and read a math problem, it never really clicked until the Business Math class.

I started out at a Community College and switched to a 4-year University and during that time of switching to the 4-yr University, I switched majors from Physical Therapy to Computers. After taking an Anatomy class twice and not understanding it any better the second time than the first, I thought it was time for a switch.

As everyone else has said, follow your passion and make sure you love your decision. Make sure you truly love whatever you do.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaDiamond001 View Post
That is funny! I actually love accounting. I took it for two semesters and did really well in both.

I think the reason I like and understand it is the fact that it is real life stuff. Even down to the simplest of tasks like balancing a ledger or check book, accounting is something that can be applied to everyday life. I also love the technology aspect of it.

Maybe I just have some sort of giant mental block. Every time I'm doing math homework, I think to myself, "When am I EVER going to use this in real life?!"

I can't imagine many instances where I'm going to have to simplify a radical polynomial, or prove that a rectangle is indeed, a rectangle.

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses. I'm going to check out math tutoring next week. It's actually done by teachers or math majors here, so maybe it will end up being helpful.
This sounds familiar. I didn't get trigonometry until I had to use it to sort out force vectors in a physics class. I didn't get matrix algebra (really) until one of my grad school statistics classes. Like you, it sounds like, I need to see a practical demonstration of the mathematical concepts before it really makes sense to me.

Perhaps approaching your professor regarding the practical uses of the concepts you're learning would be a worthwhile thing. I mean, math may not be your thing, but the amount of stuff taught in the general math classes in college often bears only a tangential (heh) relationship to the stuff you would actually use in working in your chosen field, even if those classes are required. So, if you can make it through, you could continue on the course you set for yourself.

It also sounds like you are getting tied in knots by math anxiety even before you sit down to read your textbook or do a problem. Your brain definitely isn't able to turn its full attention to the problems if it is in the middle of a fight-or-flight or panic reaction. Talking to a counselor about your math anxiety may be helpful. Or, if you're not to that point yet, checking for pointers on the Internet about overcoming math anxiety may help.

Kevin's point is well taken, though: Torturing yourself seldom leads to a good outcome. If math (along with the weight of expectations set for you by your parents and yourself) is causing you so much anxiety, and the road to a BBA goes through the dark jungle/barren desert/snake-infested swamp of advanced mathematics, choosing another path is not a bad idea, whether at the same school or a different school. If it's a prestigious (and good) school, there may be good reasons to stay there, but pursue a different major.

Math is a thing. It is okay to not be good at a thing, as long as you have tried your best. Not knowing some mathematical concepts can be detrimental to your daily life, but college-level math is generally overkill for those things.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Simon, I saw this on 60 minutes a week ago.
http://www.khanacademy.org/
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7401696n

It was an amazing story. A man was asked to help his niece with Algebra. She was in LA, he in MA. He started making simple video's and posting them to youtube. After a while, he started noticing a ton of "hits". One of those "hits" was Bill Gates who was trying to help his child with math.

Bill, along with Google, donated millions of dollars to fund "Kahn Academy". It is a non profit with the goal of providing a world class education for FREE to anyone in the world. The money made it possible to hire other people like Mr Kahn to make these video's.

This system may very well change the way math (and other subjects) are taught.

Good luck!
Kahn Academy is awesome
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:46 PM   #28
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Lots of great responses here, there's not much I can add except a couple of things.

You say that you "think" your father wants you to follow in his footsteps. Have you actually talked to him about how you feel? I'm the father of a college student, and ALL I want is for him to be happy in his chosen field. Maybe that's what your dad wants for you, too.

You need to give it more time than three weeks. What you're feeling may simply be homesickness, or freshman butterflies. Go out, meet some people, and you might start feeling better about the school and the business program.

I'll tell you what I tell my kids: FOLLOW YOUR BLISS. Life is short. Don't waste it doing what you think your dad wants you to do. It's your life. Live it. Make mistakes. Be passionate about your choices. Kick ***.

Good luck my friend!

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #29
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Sending good wishes and thoughts to you, Simon, as you make important decisions about your future career. Everything I could say in terms of advice has already been said over the past few days. I do want to leave you with this though...

If every morning you wake up thinking about being in a field, it's right for you. Find a way and make it happen. If you don't wake up thinking about how you could own a business, assist in the development of another, and the like, it's not for you. The passion needs to be there.
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