"He showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut,...
I thought: What can this be? I was amazed that it could last,...I thought because of its littleness, it would suddenly have fallen into nothing. ,...
It lasts and always will, because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God."
Julian of Norwich
Thursday, 20 November 2014
The Joy of Algebra - At Last!
Cartoon from:- domintelthegmat.com
The above cartoon says it all really.
When I was at school, all those decades ago,
I managed to get a pass in all the branches of mathematics we were taught,
but it was merely for the purpose of passing the relevant exams.
I never understood the why, what, or wherefore of any of it,
or it's relevance to real life.
What I did do was live in constant terror of the subject and the teachers.
I scraped by, trying to solve the problems we were set in uncomprehending panic.
I was perfectly able to get many different answers to those same problems,
never properly knowing how I arrived at any of them
My "workings out" were guess work and luck,
of which the latter must have been in plentiful supply,
as I managed to keep afloat.
Needless to say, once the need to perform at school was over
an iron curtain descended over my struggles with maths,
as, like an extinct language,
the very subject became a distant memory.
The only vibrant memory in connection with the subject
was the picture of our maths teacher in grammar school,
beating his head against the blackboard,
whilst his faced turned a deep puce whenever one of us
so much as hesitated when called upon to stand and solve an example,
or answer a question put to us.
I was terrified enough at presenting my ignorance to the whole class,
let alone the added fear that he would succumb to apoplexy because of me.
Ever since, I have shied away from anything containing figures, declaring,
as my mind went blank,
"I don't do maths."
Then about a week ago I watched this video, culled from the glorious posts on