You love math. You really do. I’m not talking about the kind of math that makes cellphones work or the kind that bankers use. I’m talking about math in its purest, most natural form — the kind that moves the planets in their orbits, gives flowers their shape and makes a chorus sound like angels.
Maybe you’re thinking: “No, I don’t love math. I hated math in school and I still do.” Not so. You only think you hate math because of the way it was taught to you.
Most people are taught in school that mathematics is a mechanical process: Plug the numbers in, turn the crank, follow the rules. If you get the right answer, you get a gold star. If it’s wrong, you get a big red X.
But this isn’t what math is about, any more than English (or Spanish) is about spelling and grammar. Language is about beautiful poetry and great stories, not about dry rules and memorization. If we taught English the way we teach math, no child would be allowed to read a poem until they could spell it and diagram its sentences. No wonder so many people are turned off. (Sadly, our focus on standardized tests is only making this worse.)