Hello all! Thank you so much for sticking with me through this and I hope you enjoy some last little musings about linear algebra in the form of my final reflection…….
Throughout this process, I feel like I learned so much, but the most valuable lesson that I took away was how to self-teach. That seems incredibly straightforward given the point of an independent study, but, more specifically, I explored how to self-teach out of a textbook. In fact, the only resource that I used for this entire study was the appointed textbook and Dr. Prudhom for questions! Having to muddle through each chapter, sometimes spending an hour on just a couple of pages of a lesson, really taught me how to start understanding mathematical notation better, and I began making analytical connections in my brain much more quickly.
But even after all the textbook work that I did, I come away with so many questions. My biggest curiosity is seeing how this subject comes into play in actual careers, and has real world applications. For my final presentation I researched this a bit, but it would be so amazing to have a chance to see this in action. I know that some other independent studies met with experts in their fields outside of school, and it would be incredible to talk to someone working with linear algebra, whether they’re an economist, a cryptographer, or anything in between.
Although I didn’t meet with experts, one really interesting result of my presentation was that during the questioning time, Mr. Jenzano, and Dr. Prudhom asked me what it would look like to incorporate linear algebra into the DA math curriculum; something that I talked about in my presentation. It was really cool to have teachers at DA ask me to expand upon my ideas!
This is just one of the ways that this opportunity handed me moments to step outside of the usual curriculum and really do and try something different, which leads me into advice for future independent study learners: don’t psych yourself out of trying something new or uncomfortable just because it seems daunting: Don’t cheat yourself of any experience that makes you passionate: that is what school is for. Finally, trust the process! The way to push past those intimidating feelings is to place trust in your work ethic, your faculty advisor, how you designed the course, and the way that DA runs the independent study program! For me specifically, I had to trust the process so many times. At so many points I felt like there was so much information that I was adding to my brain each day, and that my videos were not communicating effectively: I had to slow down, and remind myself that the point was to keep reaching for something better, and that is what really taught me to believe in my own abilities. I hope that many more people choose to take math independent studies: struggling with math problems on your own helps cultivate academic resilience, and at the end of the day, it is just a lot of fun! I would like to specifically thank Dr. Prudhom for being so unendingly helpful every step of the way, and always taking the time to patiently explain things a second time, when it went right over my head the first! I appreciate you sharing even a fraction of the knowledge that you have on this topic. Also, I am so grateful to Ms. Bessias for checking in on all of my blog posts, leaving comments, checking up on me, and always making sure that things were running smoothly. I am glad that I got to get to know you a little better through this process, and I felt really supported the whole time!