Math = Love: What's the likelihood?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's the likelihood?

Two days ago, I finally made time in my crazy schedule for a much needed haircut.  I hadn't had a haircut since this summer.  I don't think I knew going into teaching how difficult it would be to find a balance between my work life and my personal life.  When you get to school before seven and often don't leave until six or seven, how are you supposed to fit haircuts and doctor appointments and grocery shopping into your life?  It's even harder now that I am teaching Saturday School on Saturday mornings... 

Finally, I decided I would just leave work one day at a decent hour (which for me is 5pm) and go and just get it done.  As I was telling the hairstylist what I wanted, we started chatting about life.  I told her that I was a high school math teacher.  And, I was most surprised when she said that math was her favorite subject in high school.  I'm so used to hearing people tell me stories about how math was their worst subject or they never understood it.  I also often hear stories about the one teacher who ruined math for them.  I'm pretty sure people regularly question my sanity for choosing to teach math.  Anyway, she told me that she had taken Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Math Analysis, and Pre-Calculus in high school.  And, if she had had more time, she would have loved to take even higher math classes. 

So, while we are discussing math, the other hairstylist walks by and overhears part of our conversation.  Upon hearing the word math, she starts telling us both that she loves math and that it was her favorite subject in school.  What is the likelihood that I would pick the hair salon where all the math-lovers work?

The whole experience just makes me wonder - what would my job be like if more people loved math?  What would it be like if more parents loved math?  What would it be like if more teachers loved math?  Actually, it wouldn't even have to be "love."  I could definitely settle for a greater "respect" of mathematics.  

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