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Monday, April 29, 2013

Musing Mondays ~ My Brain On Math (Chapter 1)

April 29, 2013
Monday, 2:00 pm

 

Weight:  I lost four pounds last week.  I think this week they will return with some new friends.  I'd rather not dwell on that.

Coffee Consumption: 1 cup of French Vanilla Coffee
Chocolate Report: I haven't gone there yet, but I am sure it will happen very soon.  Yes, very soon.



Let me ask you a question.  

 Are you one of those people who laughs every time some poor guy on America's Funniest Home Videos gets hit in the family jewels?  You are?  Well good!  You are going to love my Musing Mondays for the next sixteen weeks!  Why, you ask?  Ah, well my friend, because instead of taking a summer break from college... yours truly decided to go ahead and knock out the mandatory maths.  Yes, back-to-back.  All summer long.  But it's all good, because, I chose the "easy" maths!  Yep, I picked "Applied Finite Math" and "Math For Humanities".  MmmHmm sure did!


I uh... um...


I didn't really know what either of those were.

Turns out "Applied Finite Math" is "Statistics" cleverly veiled in a non-threatening misnomer.

I still don't know what "Math For Humanities" is.  After opening my "Applied Math" textbook... I am too scared to investigate further.

But, I digress...




Back to why you are going to enjoy the heck out of my blog for the next sixteen Mondays.

Confession:

I have another phobia that I didn't confess to here.

Arithmophobia - The fear of numbers.


More appropriate would be a a term for math-phobia, but one doesn't exist (yet).
They call it "math anxiety".  Trust me, it runs deeper than mere "anxiety".

Today was the first day of my new math class.  I decided it might be fun (for you) if I come here each Monday and give you a Mental Health Status Update.  I'm sure to want to record this publicly for posterity.  After all, I'm the gal that took Algebra five times in high school-- four of the five times during summer school.  What is it about me ruining my summers with math?  I guess by now it's just a habit.


My taking back-to-back math courses all summer long?  Let's look at it in equation form!

ME + (MATH)2
   16 WEEKS                                 = Equivalent to the guy who got hit in the family jewels.

Got that?  Good.   

Let's move on to the first chapter of "My Brain On Math -- A Mental Health Update", shall we?



Day 1 of "Applied Finite Math"

 Mental Status Update:

  Feeling Terrified!  

 

I spent the morning pouring over my math textbook. Most of that time was spent alternating between nausea and tears. I cursed Satan openly for creating such brain befuddling equations. I stopped, slammed the book shut, and decided to pray for HELP from the Lord in getting through this term. After all, how else can I defeat the devil that is math? Well, be careful what you ask (pray) for! He not only heard me but was quick to point out that I'm looking at it all wrong.
 
For most (all) of my life, I've thought:
And with this frame of mind- math has defeated me every time. 

Yes, every stinking time.

And it will continue to do so until I give credit where credit is due.

So, I am going to have to change my thinking if I am to survive the next sixteen weeks of back-to-back math terms.

That said, this is what I've learned about math today:



Ahem, here goes...
 
1) God created ALL things -- even math. “For by him all things were created...” (Colossians 1:16)

* So, math came from God.

2) God holds ALL things He created together-- even math. “In him all things hold together...”
(Colossians 1:17)

* So, math works because God faithfully sustains the universe.

3) God chose to establish a covenant with the “fixed laws” of heaven and earth -- including the mathematical laws (like addition). "If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant."
(Jeremiah 33:25-26)

* So, 1+1 will always = 2 because an awesome, never-changing God created and sustains all things.

4) God meant for math to help reveal His design all around us. For example the Fibonacci sequence can be seen in sunflowers. Sunflowers were designed by God. The seeds in all sunflowers are arranged according to two patterns. We can use math to examine these patterns and discover that no matter how many seeds the sunflower contains, the number of seeds will be distributed between the two patterns in the same mathematical proportion-- which allows sunflowers to hold the maximum number of seeds to reproduce very productively.

* So, if I will take the time to see more than confusing equations, I will find the marvelous hand of God in everything around me and better understand the mastery of His glorious design. How's that for incentive?

5) I must stop crediting Satan with creating math and the astoundingly wise design within its laws, and instead focus on the fact that math was indeed created by a loving God who has plans to prosper me and not harm me.
(Jeremiah 29:11).

* So, ALL things work together for my good-- even math. Thank you Jesus!

6) I must approach math with purpose, trusting that He will help me to understand it, so that I may use it to glorify Him-- our awesomely wise, faithful, and powerful God. I must lean not on my own understanding to get me from p+k = p + (n-1)k, but trust Him completely to help me understand-- by making my mathematical paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-7)

* So, I must trust and obey with all my heart-- believing that math is beautifully and wonderfully made, not just fearfully made. ;)


7) "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!" Yes, even math. ^,^
(Philippians 4:13) Yes, even math.

*So, get thee behind me Satan and get out of my way. With God I can and will manage to pass this class (even if only by the skin of my teeth) and learn to enjoy the process of solving p + k, p + 2k, p + (n - 1)k.

 
Note:   I didn't come up with this all on my own, so credit where credit is due!

Thank you God for always hearing me when I cry out to You, and always having an answer for me-- even when it's "no" or silence. I trust in You, completely. Thank You for setting my feet (and my heart and mind) in the right direction today.

And thanks to some gems that I just added to our homeschool curriculum library! I could never have worked this all out in my head this morning! God pointed me to the proper site to find exactly what I need so that I can change my old ideas about math and approach math expecting it to glorify the Lord.

-Beyond Numbers: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math Biblically by Katherine A. Loop
-Revealing Arithmetic: Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview by Katherine A. Loop
-Mathematics: Is God Silent? by James Nickel

P.S.  If you're math-challenged (like me) and in need of a new "perspective" on math, you can get the ebooks (or physical copies) at www. christianperspective.net - just click on product category "biblical math resources and packages".


End Of Day 1

 

  Feeling Determined





 Who knows?  

I might even make an "A" in Applied Finite Math and keep my 4.0 GPA!

 

 

This daily dose of DM brought to you by
a very confused optimistic blue monkey. 

 


I know I'm not alone!



Do you suffer from math-phobias?

Have you ever experienced a change in heart
simply by viewing things with a new perspective?

Let's hear it!  Share below!
After all, it's best to talk about these things.
*wink wink*



6 comments :

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Oh DM!!! I was a math kid - not a genius, but not hard either. Of course, I avoided the "Honors" classes like a Boss, but was top of my grade in the "Average" math class.
Don't think that's helpful. But Maybe you'd appreciate knowing how fearful I was every time the teacher mentioned Grammar in English.
I never learned, and I always knew a bad grade was coming.
Best of luck in your math class! God will take care of you and I believe (maybe with a wee bit of help) you will come out with your 4.0 intact!

DM Kilgore said...

Hahaha! Kelsey- you just earned a place on my "midnight math mayhem" speed dial. ;) You? Bad with grammar? Oh my. Who'd have thunk it? You're a great writer (from what I've read so far) so maybe there is hope for me to conquer math! We shall see! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. =D

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

*Snort* Do I have a math phobia? Is there such a thing as a math atheist? How about math blindness? Oh I can pretend to believe, at gunpoint, and I know enough lingo to get out of a sticky situation. Yes, I have experienced a change of heart by simply viewing things from another perspective. All the time. At least every hunting/fishing season. Perspective is a beautiful thing, and can lead to long and fulfilling relationships.
Let me know how that math one works for ya. I'll be lurking around. :)

DM Kilgore said...

You are one of my favorite lurkers. ;) LOL on the hunting/fishing season. I dated one of those once. Perspective is a lovely gift. Bwahaha!

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Is a lurker like a stalker with commitment issues?

DM Kilgore said...

Possibly. We should figure out the statistics of that. You go ahead... I have a gas oven to stick my head in.

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