The Only Person You Can Trust is YOU

This is Day 4 of 31 Days of Math Learning Success. Follow all the days here and check out others that are writing for 31 days here.

If you don't believe it, it might as well not be true. But you can still work while you wonder.“Trust, but verify.”
~ Ronald Reagan

Trust is a big thing. And in math, it’s hard to know whom to trust.

Well, here’s the secret: There’s only one person you can trust. That’s you!

Yes – regardless of how bad you think you are. Or how much better you think someone else is. YOU are the only expert.

If you don’t believe something in math, it might as well not be true.

This doesn’t mean you should challenge the instructor.

(And teachers, I’m not suggesting that students challenge you.)

But you can work problems with what the teacher says, and at the same time wonder why it’s true. And even think, “Well, I’m not sure this is right.”

Suspend disbelief.

Just like in movies, sometimes you have to suspend disbelief.

Do imaginary numbers make any sense? Does multiplying two negatives and getting a positive make sense?

Don’t believe it. But do it.

Make a list of Math Lies.

Put each of these crazy things on a list called “Math Lies.”

Every now and then think about them some more. As you learn more, and grow in mathematical maturity, you might start marking some of them off.

And then again you might not. There are still some things in math that I don’t believe.

But I still roll with them.

Because I know I’m right, but the rest of the world isn’t quite so sure.


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