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monsoon's avatar

Has math ever made you cry?

Asked by monsoon (2505points) July 20th, 2008

I’m taking calculus, and it’s made me cry at least four times since the class started in June. Just wondering if I’m alone.

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25 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

Somehow, I feel that can’t be bad. You’re engaged, trying, and think how great it will be when you finally get it. I think I felt the same about calculus—don’t know about tears, but it was frustrating. But as I recall, I spent two very intense weeks with the book before the final, and did well, and that did feel very fine. Don’t ask me anything about calculus now, though. That says something more about our math education system, I think, than me—or you. Good luck!

marinelife's avatar

Hated it. Took it in high school. Then again in college. Calculus just made me angry.

PupnTaco's avatar

Hated it all my life. I’m pretty sure I cried over homework I just could not understand.

Allie's avatar

I remember when I was overwhelmed in general and not being able to solve a problem on my stupid math homework just pushed me over the edge and I cried, but it wasn’t necessarily because I couldn’t do the math. It was just because I was so frustrated.

Lightlyseared's avatar

at least it’s not statistics.

Skyrail's avatar

I think I’ve got so frustrated to a point of a mini-breakdown over something ridiculous, probably a cross between the math being hard and my stupid timing to leaving it so late.

monsoon's avatar

Yeah, and I’m taking it without having taken precal, or trig. I just get so frustrated, especially because it’s an online class, and on the class forum every one else seems to get it. When a question is asked that I’m wondering about, I can’t even understand the answer people give me.

I’ve always been fairly exceptional at math, and I feel like a fish out of water, being completely unprepared for this class. Now I know how math feels for every one who has always hated it. :)

nikipedia's avatar

Why are you taking it without precal or trig? If I were you I’d drop it and take both of those first…

I definitely cried over calc homework more than once. I ended up switching to an easier section. It was the right move for me and we still covered calc through some diff eq, but at a slower pace (and, frankly, with a better prof).

Seesul's avatar

Yes, at a very young age, and I commend you for getting as far as you have. You are not alone, and more talented than a lot of people. See if you can find someone that can explain it to you better. Like nik said, with Math it is better to drop back and take it slower, especially if you comprehended it well before that.

I didn’t really understand Math until I took Math for Elementary School Teachers. If I’d had the fabulous instructor that I had for that class, I would have gone further and been less miserable. Best wishes.

Adina1968's avatar

Math never made me cry but some of my math teachers did.

mvgolden's avatar

Drop the class. Take the pre-reqs in person. Is this your first college level math class? If so, it is a whole new level than anything at the high school level.

I do not like the idea of on-line classes. I think there is still something very special about showing up to a lecture. If nothing else you get to know your classmates and you can all study together and help each other out.

gailcalled's avatar

Call me crazy, but I loved all my math courses. I had a kind and clear teacher for high school, a good teacher for advanced calculus in college, and a new, nervous and muddled teacher for partial differential equations. So that is where I stopped. A creative and patient teacher makes all the difference. (And avoid all math courses where the teacher lectures.)

shilolo's avatar

Is this how you feel?

zarnold's avatar

Yes, it actually has made me cry once. I hated my calculus class this quarter (my professor was ok), but I spent a week studying those stupid convergent/divergent series, taylor theorem etc and still got one of the lowest grades on the test. Usually when I do poorly on something it’s because of my own laziness, but I felt as if I had done my best, math had bested me, and there was no hope. In retrospect I should have studied a lot more, but at the time I was so pissed…especially when the professor came up to me afterward and asked if I had even studied.

shrubbery's avatar

I love maths and I have an awesome teacher, but oh yes it has made me cry. Last week I had my exam, it was functions, trig and calculus. I was up til 12:30 the night before, and I just cracked and had a breakdown. The exam turned out to be better than I thought, but I still don’t think I went that well, which is a shame because maths is usually my best subject and I love it, but this stuff is just really hard.

TheHaight's avatar

You’re not alone. It has made me so fustrated to the point of tears. I just took a summer school class which was four weeks long (so fast that everyday was equivalent to a week long in a regular semester) and it was very stressful. You can do it! :)

flameboi's avatar

Yes, lots of times… but now I’m dating the math queen so let’s see if I can improve or something…

charybdys's avatar

I love the idea of math. And when something really snaps and I get it, the feeling is great. However there is much frustration before that point, and hard work and not understanding. I would definitely recommend that you drop this and take the pre-requisites. Math more than anything else really requires the pre-reqs. You’re basically trying to take trig, pre-calc and calculus at the same time by doing this. And that’s why its extra frustrating, and why it doesn’t make sense. You will enjoy math much more if you understand it, so learn it in order. The pre-reqs are there for a reason.

monsoon's avatar

Yeah, I have to take the class this semester. I couldn’t take precal this semester and cal next semester. I’m trying to be done in four more semesters, and don’t want to spend an extra $1800 on an extra one.

I’m just… Sigh. The thing is, I’ve always been pretty exceptional at math, without trying very hard at all. But trying to do math without the proper building blocks makes me really understand what math must be like for most other people, who it doesn’t come as easily to as it always had for me.

In fact, I tutor teenagers who are struggling with math, and this has been a really humbling experience for me. It makes it a lot easier to be patient, and to not jump to the conclusion that a struggling student is simply not trying (though that’s still sometimes the case).

I am bigger than calculus. Thanks for the kind words though. :) I can do it.

finkelitis's avatar

I’m a mathematician, and the subject can be very frustrating for me sometimes. It can also be quite beautiful. I suggest looking at this amazing essay by Paul Lockhart, which you get get via this website:

mea05key's avatar

It made my hair stand. Math is pretty fun until university when you start encountering stuffs like non linear partial diffential equations which i think is not very useful to me in anyway. I reckon the knowledge is probably useful for people doing pure science and not useful at all for my field ; engineering.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Praise be it is not English

nohobos's avatar

nope never I always find it intriguing

monsoon's avatar

Update: I dropped this summer class and have just taken it over winter, meaning in a two week period. However, I took precalculus in the fall, and arranged to work only weekends for the winter term.

Today was my last day of class, and I got an A! 118/120, to be exact.

Starting calc 2 in two days…

tigress3681's avatar

Math itself hasn’t made me cry but struggling with new concepts or dealing with stupid professors has.

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