Link love

I am this professor.  And I *hate* the fact that I have to be this professor for so many students.  Math is wonderful and fun and very few people are actually bad at it, especially once they let the fear go.  (And even the few students I’ve had with dyscalculia and the one with a more rare related form of dyslexia, have managed to still pass my math classes with extra time on tests and lots of training in their particular disability from experts.  Folks who fail my class are the ones who don’t do any of the work.)

Historiann discusses the American Dream, by gender, in politics.  Of course, I think the Republicans here are just taking a page out of the Swift Boat handbook.

A thoughtful discussion on reproductive rights from stirrup queens.

Latoya speaking on The Work.

I think many of the points Ana brings up that distract her also distract me.

#1 thinks this map is out of date, but #2 likes it.

Academia explained in Muppets.


Save spend splurge explains her personal experience with gatekeepers in STEM.  Related:  #thatwoman.

“…allowing students to send a fourth score report to colleges for free not only led them to apply to more colleges, but it also … increased the likelihood that students would attend a more selective college.”  Small things matter.

The F-off fairy.

Social media explained.

15 Responses to “Link love”

  1. OMDG Says:

    The math thing is really funny. I remember in grade school, I would get really frustrated if I didn’t get a new math concept *immediately* and would throw a fit. Even though I inevitably “got it” within 5 minutes — which was still faster than everyone else in the class — the response of my teachers was consistently, “There there, maybe you’re just not very good at math. It’s ok.”

    • Sapience Says:

      One thing I am very, very grateful for is the fact that my parents *never* let me feel this way about math. I was told repeatedly that I was good at math and that I should learn math as well and as quickly as I could handle it. But that message was *repeatedly* undermined in the public school system.

      I remember being infuriated in the fourth grade when I was on the Math Olympiad team for the county-wide competition. The coach bumped me off the “A” squad, where I was the only girl, so that a boy could be on that squad, even though I was demonstrably faster and more accurate. The “A” squad got more coaching, and was allowed to work ahead in class on their own, where as the “B” squad–which was all girls–was asked to stick with our regular in-class math. I got a perverse amount of pleasure when one of my friends from the “A” squad (who was the only one smarter and faster than me) came down with the chicken pox, and my “B” squad beat the pants off the “A” squad.

      When I was in the sixth grade, my teacher told my parents that I needed to “slow down” and wait for the other kids to catch up on math. My parents got so frustrated trying to work with him that they ended up homeschooling me for the rest of the year. (Admittedly, pretty much the only thing I learned that year *was* math.)

      In the eight grade, the same thing happened. I had gotten about three quarters of the way through algebra on my own by that point, but the algebra teacher didn’t want me “working ahead.” My parents ended up pulling me from the math class (I stayed in school for the other classes, and worked in the library when I would have had math), and by the end of the year, I had finished the geometry curriculum. High school was better, especially when I started taking my math classes at the local community college–by the time I graduated, I had gotten through differential equations and linear algebra.

      Of course, by that point I had also decided I really wanted to be an English major, and I haven’t used anything above algebra in the last decade, and I’m regretting never taking statistics (which was the class all the “non-math” people took) because that’s what I really need for my current job. Go figure.

      • Tree of Knowledge Says:

        I regret not taking more math in college too. I was also an English major and while not as advanced as you, I was good at math and was in the higher level classes pre-college, but I didn’t “need” it and as soon as I said “English” to advisers, they encouraged me to find other electives. It’s the only thing I really regret about college.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Our uni required everybody to take a math class and an English class. The irritating thing was that we had all sorts of “math for jocks” kinds of classes, but there were no “English classes for techs”, so I ended up having to take a real English class with lots of English majors.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Man, that really sucks re: your math team. Horrible.

        I did the same thing with the community college and did a math major in college partly because I’d only need 7 classes to complete it given I’d already completed through Linear Algebra (they started counting math for the major with Diffy Q). The main question was what my second major would be.

        I was blessed with amazing math teachers for geometry and algebra II. Sadly they’ve all retired and been replaced by terrible people and my hometown high school no longer does well in math. It’s a shame. :(

      • Leah Says:

        N&M, your gripe about classes is mine too. I lived with some English majors, and they’d bitch so hard about how much they had to read. I finally pulled out a sheaf of research papers and said that I had just as much reading AND I was taking real classes. AND I took real English classes too. It really bothers me that there are so many watered-down science classes, but I took the same English classes as English majors did. Why don’t unis make anyone fulfilling a science/math requirement just take the same basic classes the majors do? That’s what we did in history and English, and we did just fine in those classes.

        Side note: this isn’t to say that I think English majors are stupid. I know some smart ones. But there were also many, my roommates included, who didn’t see the point of having a well-rounded education in all fields.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        At finals time soc sci majors had the biggest workload–final papers AND final exams.

  2. Tree of Knowledge Says:

    What you say about math about the first link, that’s my experience teaching writing too. Even in the developmental writing class, most of the students are not bad at English. But some teacher or adult in middle school or even earlier told them they were no good at writing and they believed it. It amazes me how often a single bad experience can sour a kid on themselves. It’s amazing how much they improve with some encouragement and belief that they can do this. A lot of them think that having some grammar problems means they can’t write (which isn’t true at all and is my first-day lesson in all of my writing classes regardless of level), but even the grammar problems are usually indicative of not taking any time with the work (because they believe they’re going to fail anyway and so they don’t try) instead of not knowing the rule.

  3. Emily @ evolvingPF Says:

    I didn’t enjoy math starting when I was fast-fast-tracked in it in elementary school, and I never thought I was as good as it as my peers were, though I knew I was ahead of the regular timing. I got through it fine, more or less, but it wasn’t much fun for me.

    What resonated with me with that first link was that it was physics that helped her see the point of learning math! In my senior year of high school I was finally taking a calculus-based physics course and I could see why learning all the calculus I had the year was useful. I was delighted when we were taught the same math principles in physics and in multivar calculus on the same day.

    I ended up majoring in physics and that finally gave me the motivation to learn calculus and linear algebra better. I still feel weak in math compared to other physics majors, though my BME classmates were pretty impressed with my differential equations skills when I started my PhD.

  4. becca Says:

    The math education thing is hard. I think “you are much more capable than you have been lead to believe” message can be extremely important, but for some people even believing they can learn it doesn’t help them want to as much as having the reasons it is useful front and center. Physics is awesome for that- a kind of “if you need it you will build the calculus”

  5. Rumpus Says:

    That xbox thing is totally not creepy. It’s image-science! I remember when I saw the first video of it in action. At the time I was thinking about how to use cameras to figure out if a baby was having trouble breathing, and when I saw the video I threw my hands up in the air and moved on to something that wasn’t already solved. Check out the “bobble-head” video

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