Q&A #3933

Where do I start?

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From: Pat Ballew (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 13, 2000 at 07:26:13
Subject: Re: Where do I start?

I assume by the statement "continue, and achieve my formal education" you
mean that you are going to continue with college.  If that is so, and if you
are interested in pursuing math, you have some catching up to do, but
nothing that determination and hard work can't fix. People have started
later, with less background, and been successful in the attempt.

I would think the first thing to do is check with a college or University
near you, and see what they offer in the way of testing, remedial courses,
and the like.  Many students start college with weak math skills (many
weaker than what you state above) so most colleges have a course that may be
just right for your level.  Going back as an adult may be tough, but you
have something that younger students do not, experience.  Apply that with
some hard work and you may find (to paraphrase an old love song) college is
lovelier the second time around.

There are also lots of great books in the libraries and book stores about
math that will expand your background, and refresh some old memories that
may be a bit rusty.  I would suggest looking at some of the books that are
NOT like textbooks, but interesting expositions about mathematical ideas.
Use the time between now and the start of school to build the enthusiasm, so
when the hard work comes, you will have the drive to persevere.

Good luck,

 -Pat Ballew, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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