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Kathy,
What do you mean by "In truth, it's all mathematical"?
Thanks,
Nic

>By the way.  I love art, music, poetry, even sentence diagraming (it's
>kind of mathematical). I even enjoy archeology and physical science in
>smaller doses.  It is quite possible that my general education provided
>the opportunity for me to develop those interests.
>
>In truth, it's all mathematical.  If you want to see how important math
>really is, I recommend the PBS series Life by the Numbers and/or the
>companion book for the series by Keith Devlin.  Just read the first
>chapter.
>
>Cheers!
>Kathy
>
>>>>  "Laura Symons" <[log in to unmask]> 1/8/2007 11:03 AM >>>
>Kathryn's response was so cool! Now here's a rationale for taking any
>course in the curriculum:
>
>In a world where change is the only constant, the one true survival
>skill is the ability to adjust and adapt to the needs of the moment.
>That skill requires flexibility of point of view and the ability to
>apply different kinds of thinking in different situations.  College
>courses provide a rich array of different ways of thinking.
>Mathematicians approach the world very differently than anthropologists,
>than historians, than artists, than writers and the list goes on through
>the entire curriculum. Why take courses in subjects that are difficult?
>To create new skills you probably would not go after on your own. To
>learn more about yourself. To do something you don't like to do. To
>learn to deal with fear, frustration, and may even anger in a relatively
>low stakes setting.
>
>Happy New Year, all!
>
>Laura
>
>Laura Symons
>
>Coordinator of the Learning Center
>Piedmont  Virginia Community College
>501 College Drive
>Charlottesville, VA 22902-7589
>
>434 961 5310
>
>*The people who believe that something can't be done should get out of
>the way of the person doing it.*
>
>Chinese Proverb
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kathryn VanWagoner
>Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 12:11 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Math for Liberal Arts Majors
>
>I am a math teacher and I'm split on the curriculum issue.  But I have
>to respond to those (not just Kathy) who say "I've never used algebra."
>
>My response is:  of course not, you don't know it.  If you know
>algebra
>you can use it.
>
>I spent a number of years as an at-home mom and used algebra many
>times
>(and not just when I was substitute teaching).  Some examples: I
>helped
>a neighbor figure out how much real whole milk to mix with powdered
>non-fat milk to come up with 2% milk that her family would drink (a
>mixture problem).  I used permutations when planning the seating
>arrangements for a church dinner. I helped a business owner calculate
>profits for inventory for which he was missing purchase records. I
>frequently handle landscape related questions -- still.  Sure, lots of
>people get along without algebra, but just because you don't use it,
>doesn't mean it isn't useful.
>
>This common argument against algebra can be used for most general
>education subjects.  I can honestly say I have never diagramed a
>sentence in real life.  Nor have I had to analyze poetry.  I've never
>found a great need for critiquing art or music.  I've gotten along
>quite
>well in life without a solid understanding of photosynthesis or the
>parts of a cell or how a star is born or methods of archeological
>digging.  In fact, looking back, I think the most useful general
>education class I took was aerobics -- and skiing.
>
>We've developed a culture where being bad at math is socially
>acceptable.  We should be trying to change that paradigm, not nurture
>it.  I have a child who has writing anxiety that rivals any math
>anxiety
>that I've seen.  Should he be encouraged in his anxiety?  Or should he
>be taught skills to overcome it? 
>
>The "math problem" is very complex and will not be simply solved by a
>change in curriculum.
>
>
>
>Kathryn Van Wagoner
>Math Lab Manager
>Utah Valley State College
>801-863-8411
>
>ad-van-tage   n.  A factor conducive to success.
>
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-- 

Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention,  through 
the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in 
the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire

Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
Study Strategies Program Coordinator
University of California, Berkeley
Student Learning Center
136 Cesar Chavez Student Center  #4260
Berkeley, CA 94720-4260

(510) 643-9278
[log in to unmask]
http://slc.berkeley.edu

FALL 2006 OFFICE HOURS:
ED 98/198 Office Hours: T 3-4;  W 4-5
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Individual Appointments W 10-11; TH 6-8; F 3-4

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