I always scored decently in math once I was in middle school and high school and was allowed to use calculators, although when I was in elementary school and could not, I was among the last in my class to learn to add, subtract and multiply. I kept getting confused, treating the numbers not as amounts, but as a line of continuous items in a sequence, and had trouble remembering whether the ones at the ends and beginnings of what I was subtracting were supposed to be included as part of the answer when determining how many items occurred in the sequence between the two, so I decided inconsistently. If I had been imagining numbers as having a slightly different meaning, picturing groupings in my head instead of a line of symbols, I might have had an easier time, but learning to count, where the numbers were memorized in an almost song-like manner, similarly to how one memorizes an alphabet, as just a row of sounds and shapes, must have thrown me off at first. It is also possible that I have a mild form of dyscalculia that was never noticed because I did so well at all of my other subjects.
I still don't have my multiplication tables memorized. I could never make any sense of them or make them mean anything, but for some reason, I can usually intuitively guess the right answer when working with larger numbers. It's the small ones that confuse me, and I can't seem to get the hang of factoring.
I was really good at geometry except for those awful, boring, nonsensical "proofs" they required. Algebra was less enjoyable and more difficult. Trigonometry was easy for me, because just like in geometry, I could usually picture shapes to make it make sense. I never studied calculus because my pre-calc teacher advised against it, even though I was getting one of the best grades in her class. She said I would never be able to handle it because it required understanding math on a deeper level than I was capable.
I still have trouble telling time, even though I know how. I just can't seem to do it as fast as everyone else, because I have to count everything out. How I perceive time varies depending on my feelings, so I cannot estimate how long anything has taken. Even this morning, I have no idea whether I was cuddling my husband for ten minutes or an hour, because it all feels the same to me.
I also have trouble reading musical notes. I can play almost any instrument by ear, but reading music involves having to laboriously figure out how many lines and spaces are between each note by counting them.
I have almost no concept of distance and cannot guess how far away things are.
I recently moved to a place where there is a sales tax, and I am always surprised by how much things end up costing. I had figured out a decent system for estimating cost where I lived before, but it no longer works.
I have no sense of rhythm whatsoever, so when I am playing music with a group of people, I depend completely on others to keep a consistent beat.
I did very poorly in my Personal Finance class in high school because I was incapable of balancing a checkbook or figuring out tax forms. Now that I am adult, I do not own a check book, and my husband takes care of anything tax-related or anything that involves filling out forms.
Dreadful.. I questioned everything when I was at school, but no answers were forthcoming for the type of questions that I asked.
I was caught between my need to visualise the concepts, and the teachers expectation that everyone can play with numbers in an abstract way! I expect that is the fundamental problem here. There is no adaptation for some students need to learn in a different way.
I have always been far ahead in all other subjects, but unable to follow rote learning, and trust abstractions.
I just think that teachers, and most people are unaware of different types of thinking, learning modes, mental wiring.
They think that we all can learn in just one way...their way. If we fail to learn, they will say it again, and again,,and again...always incomprehensible! ( Isn`t that just awful when people do that? Some even start shouting, as if we are deaf , and that makes me shut down and zone out. Horrid. )
A good teacher should think that if anyone fails to learn, then adapt...try a different approach, and never blame the student, but instead suspect that they are not teaching well enough. I`m not sure though, but teaching curriculums probably don`t allow for an adaptive approach, although for a while, they once did.
So possibly some of us should not blame ourselves for this lack. We may have brains that want to go that bit deeper and actually understand stuff! Not bad! : )
I enjoyed doing algebra, geometry, etc. Im bad at sketching graphs with very detailed values
Or trying to copy a model made up of using hyperbola, cubic, exponentials
I dislike trying to find the graph that links the other. 😅 I got into calculus im senior year. And I also have some parts im bad at and good at. I mostly like kinematics, and dislike optimisations. I think the integration and differentiation problems can get extreme. But in my opinion, i felt like i was like knowing and remembering the steps to solve a numerical problem. Kind of like back in algebra for 9th grade. Then being consistent in practising and defintely a good variety of problems can help me get the idea of what steps is right or wrong.
In most of the pre-placement tests I tested gifted. Matter of fact I outscored our class's biggest genius who years later went on to test out of his first year of college and the next summer intern at NASA. But, I often got bored in the details of it as far as class assignments and think my mind worked different than others, cause I would often not understand it as the teacher's explained it and struggled. But a kid next to me explained something once from a different angle and suddenly it's like everything started clicking.
Helped the college 1st year instructor teach class when I would go. So, yeah its a gift, but never been a big interest unless it's in the framework of another subject that fascinates me.