Saturday, March 17, 2007

Anxiety Conundrum

I have nothing to say
and I am saying it
and that is poetry
as I needed it.

John Cage (1912-1992)

My main goal in my current studies is to relieve math anxiety and to make mathematics more accessible and enjoyable. Something I'm currently working on is a book relating mathematics and poetry. As I've been working on it, I've realized there are probably as many people with poetry anxiety as there are with math anxiety.

Hmm . . . now I have a conundrum. How do I reduce anxiety about BOTH mathematics and poetry as I connect them?

I love the John Cage poem above, because it illustrates the fact that poetry is FOR people. Math and poetry are not there to master us. They are there to be our slaves and to be used by us as we need them. I'm afraid that too often in school both topics are presented the other way around as mysterious and difficult topics that only those with special knowledge and gifts can understand. I really get bothered about that! Math and poetry are for everyone and can be enjoyed by everyone - if presented well.

My friend Bob is fond of saying that he wants to make calculus his slave. He's got the right idea!

Use poetry and math as YOU need them, and they can provide wonderful things.

You're the one in charge!

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