Thursday, January 30, 2020

Learning slowly . . savoring difficulty . . .

      There are geniuses (like Srinivasa Ramanujan) who learn mathematics quickly -- but I am not one of them.  In the following poem I reflect on how I learn . . . 

       Reflection     by JoAnne Growney

       I read and I did not understand.
       Less than a page.
       I read slowly and I did not understand.
       I read and took notes.
       My notes were three times as long as what I had read.

       I rewrote what I read in my own words.
       I reread it and inserted extra clarifying words.  

       I came back to it all later.
       I almost understood.
       Time passed. 

       Each time I re-read I found new connections
       When I explained stuff to someone
       who knew it less well than I did,
       I understood still more.

       Some people like to understand things
       the first time they read.  This turns them
       away from mathematics.
       I like things that are difficult.

       I like poems.

Thank you to my parents who believed in my abilities and expected achievement:
Adda Isabel Black Simpson Stephens (1912-2007), George Fulton Simpson (1906-1950).

No comments:

Post a Comment