Hello all! So this week, you will have to settle with less content from me (I know you’re devastated), because I was at a two day in person debate tournament, and simply did not have the time to fully prepare good tutorials, and edit them. However, that gives me time to talk about several important things that happened this week:
1) Presentation: this week I gave a presentation on my independent study as part of a larger display of independent studies and Jack Linger Grant projects. It was more difficult for me to present on my topic than many other studies because I couldn’t exactly just talk about math: so instead I talked about the experience overall…and was pleasantly surprised to realize that I had learned more general lessons from this than I had thought. One of the biggest, that I didn’t really even realize until being asked about it, is how rewarding it can be to explore something completely because of a passion, and (mostly), unconnected to college, and the future. Yes, I won’t lie, colleges often responding to independent studies did go into my decision, however, several people asked why I chose linear algebra, and I said the truth: that I am much more of a humanities focused person; I have my career in history or law planned out, this summer I will spend a week finishing my novel at a summer program, and three week taking several humanities college courses through another program. I do congressional debate, my sixth class is a second language…by any standard possible, I am a more humanities focused person. And yet…I chose this. So the answer that I gave, is that I chose this because it is sort of my last opportunity to really spend a lot of time exploring something that I just love, rather than an AP that makes sense for a certain college that I want to go to, or soon after that, a class that I have to take for my major. I have always loved math, and this was a way to tap into that passion, even though its not my end goal. Before this week’s presentation I had not realized that so much of my motivation for this specific study was to capitalize on the last remaining time I have to learn just for the sake of learning.
2) Repititon and pattern: The other thing that I wanted to briefly discuss is how this week’s notes have made me feel like I have “figured out,” some patterns in how linear algebra is ordered. The textbook has become fairly predictable, and while I still struggle with some concepts, often don’t know how to approach a question, etc…I think that it is a positive sign that I am starting to make connections across chapters for how the information is presented. This realization just happened to coincide with a really cool experience: I attended my honors precalculus class, and the topic that we learned in that class was basically the honors precalculus version of a topic that we had just covered in linear algebra. Overall, I am just drawing more and more connections, and that is one of the reasons that I love math, so right now the work feels quite rewarding!
I hope that you enjoyed this post, and I hope that this, and the other general posts have made you think about what you are passionate about, and what you want to explore independently.