## Mathochism: Fighting indigestion

**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’ve run across the sandwich theorem again. While I enjoyed it a lot the first time, and it felt quite intuitive, I am now as wary of it as I am of tuna salad on a 110-degree day.

That is because the very simple explanation feels a lot trickier in actual practice. And the book’s problems are no less befuddling this time around. I was able to find a kickass online function grapher (thanks, kind commenter who supplied it!), and by putting in the f(x) function, and the g(x) and h(x) functions that serve as the sandwich bread, I can see the magic.

But when it’s just an equation? Well, not so much.

The Calc Professor did her best to explain it, and demonstrated with a not necessarily easy problem. She also made a not-so-hidden jab at the textbook, which I appreciated.

My faith in her is still cautiously optimistic. Unlike the Calc Dementor, I get the vibe that she really is rooting for us to learn, and I’m grateful. Gratitude aside, though, I’m having trouble bridging the gap between the simple concept/obvious picture and the complicated function/necessary strategy. The leftover anxiety from last semester doesn’t help.

Idle query: Would it be possible to sue the Calc Dementor for erosion of confidence? And have the court force him to pay for therapy?

Okay, enough of that! I am pleased to report my limit evaluating skills are much sharper this time around. I got most of the homework problems right on the first try, and only fumbled on a synthetic division application. It’s been a while!

I’m hoping that, with some deep breaths and maybe a bit of tutoring, I can whip up a tasty sandwich theorem or two. Can anyone out there suggest a good math digestif?

*All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.
*

Good luck! As a (female) maths lover it’s great to see people giving it another go.