Mathematics phobia need not hamper a student's career. Sakal Times interacted with those who found ways to overcome fear of mathematics and choose a career accordingly
Pune: Most of us often come across suggestions from elders that mathematics is an essential part of our life and your future is bleak without it. Fortunately, there are some stalwarts in their professions who have proved that one can excel sans mathematics.
One of these is Mohana Gadre, a lawyer, who still gets goosebumps thinking about mathematics. She has been re-learning mathematics with her daughter, who is in Std III, she says, “Now I try to look at mathematics with a different perception because I have to teach my daughter. Yet, I have some irritation towards the subject.”
Gadre chose to be a lawyer when she was in Std X. “Mathematics was never an option for me. I never failed in the subject but I could not score well. I am the black sheep of my family in this regard. I wanted to pursue my higher education in any stream which had no sign or symbol of mathematics in it. So, I started looking for options and law fitted best.”
Dr Aesha Nanal, an ayurvedic doctor, too hated mathematics in school. “Simple mathematics was not a problem, but as the level rose, geometry and algebra was introduced and most of the theorems and formulas were bouncers. Mainly, because we did not have a proper teacher deployed for teaching mathematics when I was in Std IX. Also, in a class of 50 students, teachers fail to concentrate on students who don’t understand formulas in one go and I was one of them. The school too didn’t take any efforts to teach mathematics in a better way. By the time I reached Std X, mathematics was out of my career list,” said Nanal.
When asked how did she manage to cope with physics and chemistry in Std XI and XII as she wanted to study medicine, she said, “I had managed to pass Std X with distinction and scored 43 marks in mathematics. We had a good professor who taught physics so numericals in it were manageable. But I was bad with chemistry and somehow studied it to just pass the subject.”
Anant Budhisagar has a different story to share. He was asked to leave school when he was in Std IX because he was weak in mathematics. Budhisagar then took up classes to improve in the subject and comfortably passed Std X with a first class.
“I had a problem in understanding fractions, which is why I developed an anxiety towards it. Not that I hated mathematics, but any question that contained fractions would drop my confidence automatically. This started reflecting in my answers and my result dropped drastically,” said Budhisagar.
“Then, I enrolled in a mathematics class where my professor analysed weaknesses and concluded my basics were not clear. So, I was asked to go through all mathematics textbooks printed in Marathi till date. English was not the problem but learning in a more familiar language made it easier to understand, after which I started solving problems and then transited to higher level mathematics,” said Budhisagar, who is currently pursuing second year diploma in mechanical engineering.