## Mathochism: Don’t trust the picture

One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?

Call it a geometry miracle, but I somehow scraped an A on the last test.

It helps that Uchitel told us he made a mistake on one of the problems, so we all got that one right. He blames soon-to-vacation brain, since he was about to jet off to tropical paradise when he composed the test. Well, bless him and his distraction, because it clearly pushed me into an A-.

Not everyone was so lucky. There were quite a few Cs, and even a D or two. There but for the grace of the vacation gods go I.

We continued with circles, and I’m not as clear on the relationships between angles and arcs as I should be. I’m also not seeing where the arcs in question are. Of course, it doesn’t help that diagrams aren’t always clear.

## Mathochism: On a tangent

One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?

We continue with circles, and they continue to be more complex than I imagined.

Uchitel introduced tangents, secants, derivatives and limits. Now, the latter two were actually a sneak peek into calculus, and he was semi-apologetic for taking a great leap forward, but I was able to understand what he was saying partly thanks to algebra (those hated graphs!) and algebra II (shocker, I know).

He also gave us some math history, telling us that it was Isaac Newton who gets credit for derivatives and inventing calculus. I mentioned this during dinner — not that it surprised me that Newton did this, just that I, ever the journalist, always enjoy hearing about the people behind the math. And my spouse brought up Gottfried Leibniz, and the great calculus controversy, which made it even more interesting, since I love me some academic drama.

One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?

Spring break is over, and it’s back to the math.

We were greeted by an unexpectedly mellow and very tan Uchitel, who spent last week in a tropical paradise. Understandably, he had not brought the last test with him to said paradise, but he told us he had looked at it and that “you did well.” I hope I’m included in that collective you!

Then, we were introduced to circles. I vaguely remembered terms like radius and diameter, and completely forgot about chords and inscribed and circumscribed angles. Circles are apparently more complex than I imagined. Well, maybe I knew that, but before this, I couldn’t be arsed enough to care.

## Mathochism: Over-thinking it

One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?

We had our second geometry test Thursday, and I wish I could say I did well. But I’m quite certain I didn’t. Yes, yes. I say that every time! But I know for a fact that I got the first, third and fourth problem wrong. And when a test only has eight questions in the first place, three wrong doesn’t lead to an A.

True, I didn’t have high expectations for this one. It covered a lot of material, since Uchitel was hell-bent on catching up. And even with a study guide, the process felt a lot like triage. Should I focus more on triangles? Or proportions? Or quadrilaterals? Or parallel lines? Why am I dreaming of being attacked by special triangles?