Saturday, September 5, 2015

a math person

The title of this blog comes from my experience when asked a typical 'get to know you' question.  I'm a math educator, and here is a conversation I've had many times.

Them:  What do you do for a living?
Me:  I'm a Math Instructor
Them:  Oh, I'm not a math person.

Okay, so there are variants, at some point I usually have to explain that I teach at a college, but it's really not college level.  I usually end with the reassurance that "they are not alone", and "I hear that a lot", which in turn is not all that reassuring for me.  It's not like I'm shocked to know that people struggle with mathematics as a subject, but what I find uncanny is how people are so quick to assign in to their personhood.  I've had sore subjects to, I rarely find myself saying "I'm not blank person"  (My first blog post "I'm not a writer" is meant with a hint of irony).    The tone of this remark is often one of "Hey, hey now don't get too serious"... Like at the very mention of what I do for a living I might start quizzing them on their multiplication facts or say "... and what do you know? I've got an Algebra test right here!", which leaves me feeling like I need to say "hey, but don't worry, I'm not like that, it's all good".

Anyway, what better title than "a math person".

It's also ambiguous in my opinion and I have no idea what I'm doing with this blog right now.

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