If there’s one thing that we all agree we have done in our school life, its this: Hating Mathematics.
And no, even the nerd of the class, the Albert Einstein who solved all problems within milliseconds cannot deny, that at one or the other point he/she too loathed maths.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that no matter how sharp your brain is, or how fast it works, you do get that moment when you go all blank, the identities just refuse to blink in the celluloid of your mind. And this moment comes only in the subject of mathematics. Astonishing as it may seem, we have despised different subjects over the years, history and physics being the top contenders for the second place, but Mathematics has been so consistent, just like its teachers who themselves forget all properties and identities and formulae, unless the question has landed from NCERT (WASCE) which they have been teaching from, since 20 years.
Then we have the embellishment of “Tuitions”. Look at a 5 year-old. Then look at a 17 year-old. Then look at them while they are solving maths problems. It just becomes next to impossible to find out who is in more tension! The Tuitions are a trend, a child might fail in all other subjects, but he will attend the tuitions for maths since class 1, come what may. And if a child scores less in Maths, despite scoring highest in all others, he will be stereotyped a “Rattu-tota” (cramming parrot).
We have harrowing encounters with the questions which ask us to prove the properties which some insane nerd with some overtly-energetic cells in his brain, centuries back scribbled somewhere somehow and forgot to erase it!
Now that we know,”Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein’s brain were normal, the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary.” We feel the pressure much less.
And guess what? People who included Maths in curriculum knew the pain that it will inflict on those trying to manouever their way through the labyrinth of the questions. How else can one explain The questions of maths being termed, “PROBLEMS” Even before you try them!
There are certain terms used in maths, which evoke confusion, vexation and frustration.
1)Real numbers- What do you mean? All other Numbers are “unreal”? Then why are we learning about them at all? Did I hear something about the practical usage deployment of Maths?
2) Differentiation: The worst part of trigonometry, lovingly called calculus! They ask you to differentiate without taking the pain to add the other part from which to differentiate. Enter Greek symbols. Alpha, gamma, beta. Sometimes I wish we would be learning about Greek gods as well!As if that were not enough, there’s double derivative to double up our workload. Are you still fretting over having to find the derivative again? I have a gift for you…. differentiate it again to find the third derivative, you moron.
3) Inverse trigonometry: Why the hell did you make us learn those abhorrent trigonometric identities in the first place, when all you needed was to force us to reverse our learning. And attempt the questions the other way round?
4) Complex Numbers: The numbers are complicated. Period.
Nonetheless, we have also experienced those moments when we used to sit down enthusiastically for practising maths, and with R.D Sharma in hand, (although I fail to figure out how a person can be held in hand, never mind , go with the flow), we felt ecstatic with every question that we solved. Those were the singular moments of pure pleasure in Maths.
But, alas! The agonising moments we faced when scratching our heads for finding the right property or identity, far outnumber the moments of delight we spent in the company of R.D Sharma.
So, as long as the invisible relevance of integrating and differentiating exponential and real numbers exists, so would our detestation for maths.
GOOD LUCK maths for you have to bear the brunt of being cursed by many generations to come.
(I know everyone has a lot more to fret about regarding maths….if you have suggestions for points I must add, then leave comments below….:-))