Hello everyone,
I would like to introduce myself: I am currently taking up a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.
My math background: horribly bad.
Let me elaborate: I have always had problems with mathematics since I was a kid. When I was in second grade in elementary school, I was one of the only kids struggling with subtraction and addition; and no, I don't believe I have dyscalculia because once I understand mathematical concepts, I seem to do ok in them. However, I finished elementary school with a D, while other kids passed in glory with B's and A's.
In high school it was no better: I did not pay attention in classes, my stressful family life did not allow me to focus on studies and I ended up flunking my first year with 35 F's (yes, that is a lot of F grades; one could say it's a report card consisting almost entirely of red F's).
Because my results were so bad, I have taken a very wrong path in high school: taking up craftsmanship classes instead of taking the standard path like the other kids. In fact, I was forced to take up craftsmanship (even though I was not mentally retarded or anything) because my so called democratic government did not allow me to follow the normal path the other kids took. No, "this kid has 35 F's on his first year means this kid is dumb as a door knob". Thus, the teachers concluded I was retarded and they put me in a program with mentally disabled kids who could only do craftsmanship. The worst part about that curriculum was that they did not teach math in it - or at least, nothing worth mentioning; it was still addition and subtraction.. in high school. Go figure; no wonder the program was for mentally disabled children. Even worse: my best friend's parents though I was some retarded kid, so they sent me to a rehabilitation center with disabled kids. I swear to you, never have I felt more out of place that in that place. I would sit there as a normal kid, watching the other kids in my sessions lose their focus, go beserk, not understand basic math, etc. and I would ask myself "What am I doing here?". Later, I stopped that program; also because my mother believed I was a normal kid and the parents of my friend were racists who tried to put me down.
So, because of this horrific and unfortunate background I have missed 6 years of high school math. The only mathematics I encountered on the way on my own were: Horner's rule, linear equations, algebra and some basic Pythagorean math. The last bit of math I saw at high school was in my first year when we studied Set Theory.
Anyway, I am a smart guy, as many people have told me as well. I know of myself that I am capable to do anything, like any human being is. For a short while I thought I was dumb - but this appears not to be the case. Thankfully my family motivated me to push further on my capabilities. After getting tired and demotivated of not being at my intellectual level (it was very frustrating, to say the least) in high school, I quit high school. Then I worked for a year hard labor and then my sister was kind enough to show me a pamphlet about higher education of second chance; basically night school. She encouraged me, saying: "You have the intelligence to do this. I've seen you". So, I took the admittance test and I passed. Then, my career as a student of higher education started. I got my associate's degree and I didn't stop there - I moved on to admission for university and I got accepted (it was either a high school diploma or the associate's degree). So, I've been studying at university now for 3 years; because of the huge knowledge gap and the upbeat in teaching and studying rhythm to which I was not accustomed, my first years at university were.. bad. I was too lazy to get any work done and I flunked 90% of my courses the first year. The second year, I flunked 50% of my courses and now this third year I managed to catch up, fix the deficit of all the courses I previously failed (I passed them all now after very, very hard work) and now I am right on track, just six courses away from a degree. What's more: instead of getting E grades like I did in my first year, now I have B+ and A grades, of which I am happily proud. It's been a long winding and difficult road to say the least.
In conclusion: being the curious philosopher, the knowledge-hungry person that I am, I want to make up for lost time and I want to study all the math I missed out on. My current focus is statistics 101 and 102 (which I have to pass because I failed it too many times by now). I am of a mind to pass it well! Blessed are those of you who had the privilege and the honor of studying and learning all that previous math, from elementary school to high school to university - and as we all know, that is a huge curriculum of math.
I thought I'd provide this background, so some of you could have some empathy when I ask questions.
Friendly regards,
s7475