The inevitable had finally arrived. I had postponed my taking this math class for close to ten years. I was now at age 29 sitting in a math class that I had avoided through out my collegial career. So here I was, struggling from the beginning, prior to a math problem even being placed on the board. I was struggling with the bigger problem of fear. I was automatically, subconsciously closing off any ability I may have had in dealing with this thing called math. I had from the beginning condition my mind to press pause when the subject of math was mentioned. However I had one thing going for me, it was my determination to get through this class.
I now reflect on the fact that when working on my pre-assignment, the feeling of fear was minimal, I concluded that it was it was because I was at home alone in a non-intimidating environment. How would I reproduce this comfort in a classroom filled with other students? This question, I now understood was the root of all my fears, I was deathly afraid to look dumb' in front of others.
I will never forget that first day, I was finally situated in class and Ms. Most asked the class to explain what our opinions and past experiences were with math. When I gained enough confidence to revile the honesty of my fears, I was asked to think back and analyze when it was that I had first felt this fear. I shared that I had a teacher in fifth grade that once responded to a comment by another student regarding my inability to grasp the concept of math that "Rebeca, doesn't grasp it as easy as others do" she said this of course, out loud in a class full of my peers; from that point on I... [continues]
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