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 June 28th, 2010, 12:47 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone For at least close to 17 years, I have had teachers, students, specialists, and whom ever else fits into this category, try and teach me math, and none of them can do it. Part of the problem is no one listens to me when I start trying to explain a few things before they teach me, (It is crucial that they have this information before trying to teach me or they will never be able to) I tell them that and no one ever listens. Then they try teaching me and wonder why I cannot get what they are talking about. Then they still refuse to listen to what I am trying to explain and all this does is get both of us Fed up with the other that the teacher just gives up, and says something that really pisses me off even more, and that is OH YOU CLEARLY HAVE NO INTENTION OF LEARNING" Now what happens is I'm right back to square one (No math understanding) and cannot do math. And this has been on going like this for all this time.... I still to this day cannot do math. I can do basics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. I can do some decimals but never get how to do them or how I got the answer, I always use some short cut to do them but this does me no good because I don't actually know how to do the problem or know how to approach it in order to get it done. I have done math where I know what to do with the problem, but then I will get shown another problem but cannot do it despite it being the same exact type of problem...In this case I failed to understand how to identify what type of problem it is... You can show me how to take apart and solve a problem in math....I can then do the problem and even repeat back to you what exactly it is that I did, you can then rewrite out that same type of problem 6 different ways and give me all 6 and I will perceive all 6 to be different problems and baselines, and you can tell me you just showed me how to do all those, and I still will not get what you are saying because it's not the same set up. If you were to show me how to do one problem, then put 5 other problems in front of me that use that same exact princible, then you say they are all the same and you just showed me......I will still tell you I have no idea how to solve them and that you did not show me. Using the following problem as an example if you were to tell me to remove the - (minus) sign from around the numbers below - - 2/9 - - Now I see 4 minus signs but I would only remove the side two so now the problem would look like this: - 2/9 - But I would be told that was wrong because around means all sides.... Ok now that brings me to this contradiction, this is how I percieve this problem when it comes to the words around, sides, top and bottom. This problem has a top and bottom as well as two sides, I know top to be TOP only and bottom to be BOTTOM only so you cannot go around the top or the bottom therefore the only place minus signs are when you say around is on the sides because you can only go over and under when you are dealing with top and bottom. and you can tell me that is wrong all you want but my m9ind will never get why it's wrong becuase it's what i know of the English language and that is why you canot just tell me to forget it or just do it.... Another deep rooted issue is the fact that let say you take teh above problem and go about explaining it and you go over all the steps to solving it step by step and you explain to me all the princibles.... then you give me a math quiz with this problem on it written 6 different ways, and is in the middle of some equations.. Now even though I was just taught all the steps above for solving this problem, I still will not be able to take all the principles I just learned in that problem and use them to solve this same problem. What happens is I will not be able to solve them because since the same problem is written 6 different ways, now I see a new problem with the same signs but the principles for solving it have not been taught to me... So I cannot apply any principle to the same problem that is written differently because I cannot see it's the same problem... Simply put, even though it's the same problem, I would need a whole new principle system taught to me for the same problem just bacause it's set up differently... And ot matter how much anyone tries to tell me it's the same problem and I can understand what they are saying, I still will tell you you have not shown me how to do the same problem and that's because it's written differently, so a different set up of the same problem to me does not use the same principles just because it is set up differently and now becomes a whole different problem with an entirely different explanation on how to do it. And these are just 2 of the smaller problems I have way more issues than just these 2 Another issue is this: Let say I was explained Absolute values and I was explained how to do them...Ok that is an absolute problem......now when I see any problem that has absolute values in them but has other stuff attached it is no longer an absolute value problem so despite knowing how absolute values are done and knowing the break down of it... I still would not be able to do the problem with absolute values in them and this is because an absolute value problem is set up how I learned it, and any time I see anything that has absolute values in it, since it's not just the absolute value problem written the way I learned it, then I do not see absolute values in that problem even though it has them in it. Now I can sit and try to do the problem as absolutes and still will not be able to do it....It's as I said, I can learn a principle but once I learn it that principle is only used for that original problem and any other problem that has the principle I learned in it cannot be done using the basic principles I was taught... it's because it's not the same problem...My mind only works for principles set up that are the exact set up...and as soon as you thrown in other numbers or whatever, the original principle does not apply any more...even though it does...my mind says it's no because it's a different problem set up. Here is an example of what I am talking about: How do you solve this Absolute Value problem? |-4x-3| = |-7x+7| We need to consider the following four cases: i) |-4x - 3| = -4x - 3 and |-7x + 7| = -7x + 7 ==> x ? -3/4 and x ? 1 ==> x ? -3/4 ii) |-4x - 3| = 4x + 3 and |-7x + 7| = -7x + 7 ==> x ? -3/4 and x ? 1 ==> -3/4 ? x ? 1 iii) |-4x - 3| = -4x - 3 and |-7x + 7| = 7x - 7 ==> x ? -3/4 and x ? 1 (Not possible) iv) |-4x - 3| = 4x + 3 and |-7x + 7| = 7x - 7 ==> x ? -3/4 and x ? 1 ==> x ? 1. Then, we have for cases i), ii), and iv): Case i) ==> -4x - 3 = -7x + 7 ==> x = 10/3 (discarded) Case ii) ==> 4x + 3 = -7x + 7 ==> x = 4/11 Case iv) ==> 4x + 3 = 7x - 7 ==> x = 10/3. Therefore, the solutions are x = 4/11 and x = 10/3. OK now taking that example above here is an entire list of questions: How do you go from this |-4x-3| = |-7x+7| to this -4x - 3 = -7x + 7 ==> x = 10/3 Where does the 10 come into play and where do all the other numbers come from, also are those numbers in brackets? I do not understand how these numbers get changed when they get changed. I am beyond help.
June 28th, 2010, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Hello tx3000,
First your “personal” issues.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tx3000 Part of the problem is no one listens to me when I start trying to explain a few things before they teach me, (It is crucial that they have this information before trying to teach me or they will never be able to) I tell them that and no one ever listens. Then they try teaching me and wonder why I cannot get what they are talking about. Then they still refuse to listen to what I am trying to explain and all this does is get both of us Fed up with the other that the teacher just gives up, and says something that really pisses me off even more, and that is OH YOU CLEARLY HAVE NO INTENTION OF LEARNING"
Has this situation and/or response from your teacher had any influence on your motivation to exercise mathematics?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tx3000 I have done math where I know what to do with the problem, but then I will get shown another problem but cannot do it despite it being the same exact type of problem...In this case I failed to understand how to identify what type of problem it is...
Quote:
 You can show me how to take apart and solve a problem in math....I can then do the problem and even repeat back to you what exactly it is that I did, you can then rewrite out that same type of problem 6 different ways and give me all 6 and I will perceive all 6 to be different problems and baselines, and you can tell me you just showed me how to do all those, and I still will not get what you are saying because it's not the same set up. If you were to show me how to do one problem, then put 5 other problems in front of me that use that same exact principle, then you say they are all the same and you just showed me......I will still tell you I have no idea how to solve them and that you did not show
You say, in my words, you are able to repeat the exactly same elaboration of an offered problem with elaboration. But when the problem (digits) change, or the wording, you cannot elaborate anymore. Am I correct? I will for now assume I am, if not, we will change plan. This problem could be solved, by teaching you a general approach with a general elaboration. I could now offer you an elaboration of your mathematical problem
Quote:
 OK now taking that example above here is an entire list of questions: How do you go from this |-4x-3| = |-7x+7| to this -4x - 3 = -7x + 7 ==> x = 10/3 Where does the 10 come into play and where do all the other numbers come from, also are those numbers in brackets)
But just that doesn’t seem quite useful to me, since you will not know how to solve another. By using that, I will introduce a general problem using letters instead of digits. I will try to approach as an every-day-problem, so it makes hopefully more sense to you.
Quote:
 and you can tell me that is wrong all you want but my mind will never get why it's wrong because it's what I know of the English language and that is why you cannot just tell me to forget it or just do it....
I think, you can’t get it because you aren’t told why it is wrong, only that it is wrong. That is quite a difference. Why is the English language involved?
Now the mathematical problem,
First linear formulas: I will change the problem a little (other digits, to make this more realistic) and see how I will continue with absolute brackets (correct words?) dependent on your response.
4x+13=7x+7.
Here, we have a balance. On every side, we have bricks and other, fixed, weight. “x” represents bricks, and the digit says how many bricks. Left, there are 4 bricks. “bricks” is multiplied with “4” on the right there are 7 bricks. “bricks” is multiplied with “7” Further on on the left, there is an additional 15 kg, and on the right, 7 kg. What is the weight of one brick?
Let’s assume that the equation, 4x+15=7x+7 is impossible to solve, and you have to find an equation that is possible to solve. You presumably can find x, or the weight of the bricks if I would give you this: 3x=6. 3 bricks weigh 6 kg. 1 brick weighs 2 kg. But how do we find such an equation? We remove 4 bricks on each side. Since every brick has the same weight, we still have a balanced balance. The new equation is: $4x-4x+13=7x-4x+7$. So
$(4-4)x+13=(7-4)x+7$
$13=3x+7$. Still impossible to solve. So now we remove on both sides 7 kilograms.
$13-7=3x+7-7$
$6=3x$
$\frac{6}{3}=\frac{3x}{3}$
$x=\frac{6}{3}=2$
So every brick weighs 2 kg.

The "general" problem
ax+b=cx+d. Find x.
Impossible to solve, so find another equation.
$(ax-cx)+b=cx-cx+d \\ (a-c)x+b=d \\ (a-c)x+b-b=d-b \\ (a-c)x=d-b \\ x=\frac{d-b}{a-c}$
If you would substitute the digits instead of letters, you will hopefully find x. I advise you to practice something with this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.

Regarding my approach of your personal issues, if you have any comment, please give it. Maybe here, you will learn some maths!

Hoempa

 June 28th, 2010, 09:37 PM #3 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone This reply of yours makes absolutely no sense to me and I have no clue what any of that means or what the point to any of what you posted even is not too mention why. at one point in your example you said this Still impossible to solve. So now we remove on both sides 7 kilograms. What do you mean it's Still impossible to solve, if it's impossible to solve then there is nothing else left you can possibly do. I do not understand how you even bothered having anything written if it is impossible to solve.. Also why would you bother doing any of what you have written below, I mean seriously how are you even supposed to know what you have written below is going to work....??? Do you see where I am going with this. First lineair formulas: I will change the problem a little (other digits, to make this more realistic) and see how I will continue with absolute brackets (correct words?) dependant on your response. 4x+13=7x+7. Here, we have a balance. On every side, we have bricks and other, fixed, weight. “x” represents bricks, and the digit says how many bricks. Left, there are 4 bricks. “bricks” is multiplied with “4” on the right there are 7 bricks. “bricks” is multiplied with “7” Furtheron on the left, there is an additional 15 kg, and on the right, 7 kg. What is the weight of one brick? Let’s assume that the equation, 4x+15=7x+7 is impossible to solve, and you have to find an equation that is possible to solve. You presumably can find x, or the weight of the bricks if I would give you this: 3x=6. 3 bricks weigh 6 kg. 1 brick weighs 2 kg. But how do we find such an equation? We remove 4 bricks on each side. Since every brick has the same weight, we still have a balanced balance. The new equation is: . So . So every brick weighs 2 kg. The "general" problem ax+b=cx+d. Find x. Impossible to solve, so find another equation. If you would substitute the digits instead of letters, you will hopefully find x. I advise you to practice something with this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Regarding my approacht of your personal issues, if you have any comment, please give it. Maybe here, you will learn some maths! Hoempa
June 29th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #4
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Quote:
 I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone
I think part of the problem, honestly, is that you go about it as if you can't be taught by anyone. You need to open up to the idea that there might be someone somewhere, and part of that process is to not take people so literal all the time. It will get in the way of not just math education, but life in general. I don't mean to sound like a jerk in saying all of this, but its what you come off as -- a large part of me believes you to be a troll...

June 29th, 2010, 04:42 AM   #5
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Thanks, shynthriir

Quote:
 Originally Posted by tx3000 This reply of yours makes absolutely no sense to me and I have no clue what any of that means or what the point to any of what you posted even is not too mention why. at one point in your example you said this Still impossible to solve. So now we remove on both sides 7 kilograms. What do you mean it's Still impossible to solve, if it's impossible to solve then there is nothing else left you can possibly do. I do not understand how you even bothered having anything written if it is impossible to solve..
I tried a different approach, why you should take certain steps to solve an equation. I wrote it to find an equation that would be possible to solve. You could have read:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Hoempa Let’s assume that the equation, 4x+15=7x+7 is impossible to solve
I don't quite understand your feedback. What specificly doesn't make sense to you? What does what mean?
You have posted some personal issues, nobody would listen to,
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tx3000 Part of the problem is no one listens to me when I start trying to explain a few things before they teach me, (It is crucial that they have this information before trying to teach me or they will never be able to)
I have tried to use that information. If another approach would work, please specify.

Are you motivated to work? Or were your teachers right saying:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tx3000 OH YOU CLEARLY HAVE NO INTENTION OF LEARNING
I will edit some layout in my first post. Hopefully, it will make more sense.

Hoempa

June 29th, 2010, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by shynthriir
Quote:
 I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone
I think part of the problem, honestly, is that you go about it as if you can't be taught by anyone. You need to open up to the idea that there might be someone somewhere, and part of that process is to not take people so literal all the time. It will get in the way of not just math education, but life in general. I don't mean to sound like a jerk in saying all of this, but its what you come off as -- a large part of me believes you to be a troll...
I admit, I largely believe this to be trolling as well.

June 29th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #7
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Quote:
 I admit, I largely believe this to be trolling as well.
See this exactly what I am talking about when I say people do not listen. This type of comment is the exact same thing when someone says to me you really have no intention of learning.

As I said no one listens to what I am saying and that's because no one understands what I am saying. I will try and reword this because everyone replying is just throwing me in the middle of something then expecting me to know what they are talking about and when I don't I get clowns like the one above making retarded comments of I'm trolling.

Let me try explaining it this way and see if anyone can grasp what I’m saying the whole problem is:
There are base lines used in solving problems then those base lines are then used through math on similar problems (This much I know) my problem is that it is impossible for me to take the basic concepts used in solving problems and then apply them accordingly through out math.

So to sum it up, let say I was shown how to get the value of x in the following problem:
1 + x = 3

Now if you give me this problem and say find the value of x, I cannot do it:
-1 + (+) 1 = x

Despite it being an addition problem and despite there being an x in it I still cannot do this problem because I was not shown how to get the value of x yet with this set up because I was only shown how to get the value of x in the first problem, if I am ever going to find the value of x in the second problem then I would need to be shown how to do that with that exact problem. and when i am finding the value of x in the first and second problems are not even remotely close to being done the same way, nor does it have teh same base line. 2 different problems that have 2 completely different baselines and ways to find x..

Now to further show people how complicated my problems are with math I will bring those 2 problems together to make a whole new problem.
find the value of x in the following problem:
1 + x = 3 (Times) -1 + (+) 1 = x

I still an unable to do this problem because now I have to be shown how to get the value of x using that set up, which to me is not the same as the previous 2 separate problems And this just keeps on going so yes whenever I see get the value of x in this type of set up as long as it's involved with other numbers or whatever I now need to be shown how to get the value of x again. Again apply what I said above, this is now a third way to find x and the way you find x in all 3 of these cannot be used in any other problem except these specific ones. This right here proves there is no set baseline that can be used to find the value of x.

So here is an overview of this whole mess:
1. There are 3 problems above, 2 separate and 1 whole one
2. All 3 problems have a completely different way of finding the value of x which has no set base line
3. So every problem that has x in it and you are supposed to find the value of x it's own way
4. You cannot ever use a way you learned to find the value of x from one problem, and then use and apply that same principle to another problem because it's not the same problem.

So it's impossible to have a set baseline to find the value of x in any problem

So if a test had 100 questions on it that all require you to find the value of x, that means you have to be shown how to find x 100 times, once for each problem because every problem is different, thus requires a new way to find x.

And to make an even bigger complication out of an already complicated mess there is this bigger mess:
How are you even supposed to know enough that you have to even find the value of x in the first place.....

All in all the basics of math have no way to be taught because there is no base way and therefore all rules, principles, base lines are individual for each and every problem.

So the only way to do math is to teach someone how to do every single math problem in the world

Maybe this explanation will get across to people what the problem is.

June 29th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Quote:
 See this exactly what I am talking about when I say people do not listen. This type of comment is the exact same thing when someone says to me you really have no intention of learning. As I said no one listens to what I am saying and that's because no one understand what I am saying. I will try and reword this because everyone replying is just throwing me in the middle of something then expecting me to know what they are talking about and when I don't I get clowns like the one above making retarded comments of I'm trolling.
I don't think no one listens to what you are saying. I have tried so, and shynthriir gave you some advice and his (her?) interpretation of your attitude as well. You have blamed that
Quote:
 This reply of yours makes absolutely no sense to me and I have no clue what any of that means or what the point to any of what you posted even is not too mention why.
I asked you
Quote:
 If another approach would work, please specify.
And you start to defend yourself instead of trying to be helped. Explaining all over seems unnecessary, as you interpretet any help as offensive. I really ask to change your attitude, or helping will be difficult to me, I will be anyone as well in
Quote:
 I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone
Please, answer what I asked, instead of another description.

Hoempa

June 29th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by tx3000
Quote:
 I admit, I largely believe this to be trolling as well.
See this exactly what I am talking about when I say people do not listen. This type of comment is the exact same thing when someone says to me you really have no intention of learning.
I didn't think you were a troll before, but this comment of yours has largely convinced me that you are.

 June 29th, 2010, 07:38 PM #10 Senior Member   Joined: Oct 2007 From: Chicago Posts: 1,701 Thanks: 3 Re: I absolutely cannot be taught math by anyone shinthriir's original point is important: If you assume you cannot succeed, then you will bail out at the first sign of difficulty, "Why waste my time trying if I'm not going to get anywhere anyway?" Math is not terribly easy to learn, and it requires the patience to sit down and work things out. It also requires being able to approach the same concepts from different angles-- different viewpoints. Different concepts require different approaches and a different intuition, and the biggest part of learning math is learning what these different approaches and viewpoints are, and how to apply them. Unfortunately for many students (yourself included), these are often poorly taught. If you are not prepared to work things out, and you are not prepared to try to think in different ways, then you are correct: you truly cannot be taught math. Getting back to the earlier example: 4x+13=7x+7. I'll use the same brick analogy* as hoempa used. We have a balance (i.e. a scale) and it is staying level-- the weight on both sides are the same. If we take weight off or add weight to either side, the balance will tip, since we no longer have the same weight on both sides. But, if we take off (or put on) the same weight to both sides, the balance stays level. We want to know how much a single brick weighs, but right now, we have 4 bricks on one side, and 7 on the other, along with a bunch of other (1 kg) weights. So, let's try to make it so bricks are only on one side: Take 4 bricks off of each side. Since we've removed the same weight the balance stays level. Turning this back into our equation, we have: 4x+13 -4x = 7x+7-4x. Simplifying (by "combining like terms", or "subtracting the 4x"), we get 13 = 3x+7 (Because 4x-4x = 0, and 7x-4x=3x) Now let's remove 7kg off of each side-- this way, we only have bricks one side, and we only have weights on the other. This gives us 6=3x. So 3 bricks weigh 6kg. Then we can take 1/3 of what's on each side (because we only want 1 brick, and 1 is 1/3 of 3). 1/3 of 6 is 2, so if we leave exactly 2kg on the other side, then our single brick will balance it out: 2=x. *Random historical note: The brick/balance analogy is nice, since that's actually where the word "algebra" comes from: In the 9th century, a Persian mathematician (Al-khwarizmi) published a book titled Al-Kit?b al-mukhta?ar f? h?s?b al-?abr wa’l-muq?bala , which roughly translates as "The compendium on calculation by balance and completion", which used the same "bricks on a balance" analogy to motivate some of the first developments in algebra. The word algebra comes from "Al-jabr" (which literally means restoration)

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