Most of you would know where the picture on the right came from. Yes! It was my brother’s more than 20 years old Casio calculator but he had since passed it to me more than 20 years ago. This calculator had been through numerous examinations with me and have never failed me. Casio, are you still making good calculator like this anymore? Alright, I got digress! Back to my main point for this post!
Just the other day I was marking some A Math assignments in Trigonometry and Function by a student that I got quite pissed off; my blood was literally boiling. And for a very good why I should be pissed off: she has been giving me the same not careful mistakes again and again; it was (x – 3) in one moment and then when she copied it to the next part of the question, it became (x + 3) and everything was not right after that.
The very reason I was so pissed is because she knew exactly how to do the question. She followed the right strategy and steps in solving the Function question but she gave away marks to these kind of not careful mistakes. Trigonometry is a bigger challenge to her at this point but it will get better for sure with more practice. Right now she needs to take care of a few fundamental issues first which is crippling her progress in A Math. We will work together to take down these issues one by one. There is not much time to lose before she takes her Trial Examination follows by her SPM examinations at the end of the year.
On Wednesday while I was coaching her, we talked about her dream to study Aeronautical Engineering. I asked if she really has the passion in doing it. Depending on the fields of study which she will pursue in Aeronautical Engineering, whether she likes it or not, she will have to deal with higher Mathematics. In fact, in most engineering course, she will need to take higher mathematics. And thus it is important to build her foundation well now. I told her if Aeronautical Engineering is really her passion, then she will surely find all ways to break down all the challenges to get there.
She shared with me that she doesn’t hate A Math, it’s just that she can’t seem to understand it. I wasn’t surprising she couldn’t seem to understand it. In Mathematics, we not only have to understand the concept, we also have to practice; which is the thing she has not been doing yet. And being a kinesthetic person, who learn best by doing, then all the more she needs to practice. Just as a question I have always asked her, “How did you remember all the lyrics?” She told me she just sung them again and again and again. She responded that if only A Math was like singing. I said, “Why not? I am not stopping you. If you find that by singing it out you can remember, then by all mean sing it out!”
However, the more important thing is whether her passion lies in being an Aeronautical Engineer or is it just a fleeting thought. I told her to seriously think about what is her passion in or what she likes to do. We always share with the kids and their parents that the sooner they find their dreams and passions in life, the faster they will get there. It is thus very important for them to keep asking themselves what they want. And now a question to you, “What are your dreams or passions in life?”