Mr. Math Monster, I presume?
March 24, 2012 4:33 AM Subscribe
Help me to learn math as an adult when I still despise the frustrating beast from my childhood!
posted by DisreputableDog to education (20 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Since I was a kid, I’ve always struggled with math. I was apparently very good at it when I was a little girl, grasping concepts that hadn’t been taught to me yet, but somewhere in there I determined I hated math. Or that it was too hard. I even drew up a manifestation of my fear, the Math Monster. With 7’s for spines, 6’s for claws, 5’s for teeth, and extra numbers floating about in its half gelatinous, half dragon form, the creature is STILL what I think of when I even halfway glimpse an equation with x = ?.
Now, several years and maybe 2 to 3 college level Algebra classes later, I’m an adult who’s realized that math is actually useful. And pretty much a requirement for life. Especially when my “maybe I could…” interests show me possible life paths involving chemistry, physics, quadratic equations, and theoretical computer science.
Look, I know I’m smart, but I just need things explained to me in a way I can visualize. I’ve grasped many algebraic concepts before, but I find it difficult to remember even a few months later how to, let’s say for example, find the percentage for a restaurant tip.
Basically, I’m trying to get back into the math groove, and I’m looking for recommendations on textbooks that are neither dull as shit nor pandering like a kid’s picture book. I just want math to be interesting to me. These textbooks should also obviously be as accurate as possible, since I wouldn’t know an error even if it threw me a wet t-shirt party.
I note, btw, that I never was able to memorize my multiplication tables and have therefore become a near advanced level wizard at finger tapping to half sing-song tricks such as “5 x 5 = 25, 5 x 6 = THIR-ty” and “9 x 9 = the 49er’s” which flit by so fast now, I barely notice them anymore.
Also of possible importance: if geometry were the only mathematical subject of importance, I’d have _that_ beast paraded around on a leash, wearing a tag that says “Snuffles”.
SO! More or less I want to review math starting from Algebra, reviewing Geometry, and onward. Can you help?