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Friday, April 26, 2013

My first tryst with Mathematics



Hello Everyone,

Here I am, after days of pondering I hereby pronounce my foray into the Blogosphere. In this first inaugural post, I will be narrating to all of you my first experiences with my first love, yes, you guessed it right Mathematics. I studied in a small private school in Bombay(Mumbai of today). My secondary school Math teacher was a very disciplined one, always making us practise hard in our Fractions, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry etc. I also remember her telling us how much Math is going to be relevant in our lives. She also gave us tons of worksheets as part of our daily practice reminding us how homework is useful for feedbacks and proper understanding of the concepts.

I immediately fell in love with Math and all her fundamental Algebra and Geometry concepts sharply imbibed in my mind. Here, you can also see my earliest 2 best buddies, they were


Math classes were eagerly anticipated and greeted with a lot of enthusiasm from my side. Math soon became my best friend. I started solving puzzles including the Mensa Puzzles, lots of other puzzle books including the impeccable incredibly challenging ones written by the recently departed Shakuntala Devi who can be attributed as creating my first awe struck moments. Her book Puzzles to Puzzle You became my best companion in times of stress, despair and even sometimes anxiety.
As you must have all seen that my Math career got a jump start thanks largely due to the two lovely Math women my secondary school teacher Mrs Bharathi and the late Mathematics genius Mrs. Shakuntala Devi thus dismissing any qualms that women and Math do not go hand in hand. 
To quote myself  
Thirst for Math
Do let me know what you feel about my blog, I will be more than happy to hear from you.

Stay Blessed Everyone
Vijay aka the MathMan

60 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful bit of insight to your love of mathematics! Also how important it is to be introduced to it by teachers who understand its beauty and poetry. May you pass that gift along to others & keep sharing your love of the one true language of the universe and the heavens. xx NN

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  2. Firstly Nica I appreciate your kind words from the bottom of my heart. Secondly coming from a smart innovative and wonderful woman like yourself, I will always cherish this comment of yours forever.
    Thanks again xx VK

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  3. Nicely written and interesting!
    Brett

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  4. Vijay, thank you for sharing this post. It is so nice that you were inspired by a caring teacher and math expert. I just wish all teachers were like that and connected what they teach to the real world and engaged their students to make them passionate learners. I hope that you can follow in their footsteps.

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    1. Thank you in spending the time reading through my post Jerry and then of course in writing your generous comment. Yes I was really lucky to have such a teacher early in my life and I will certainly try to follow and incorporate their ways in my teaching career. Cheers Vijay

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  5. Thank you Vijay - The MathMan for sharing your story with us. It is awesome how your past experiences have truly influenced your current work!

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    1. This is Kristin by the way! :)

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    2. Thank you Kristin for your kind words and all the interactions we have had together. I will certainly blog regularly and hope try to touch chords whenever I can. Cheers Vijay

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  6. Thanks for sharing your first blog post with me, Vijay! I admire your enthusiasm and your ability to share it with others. I look forward to reading about more of the wonderful teachers and experiences that you have had that have helped you fall in love with Math! Maybe you can Skype into my class sometime and share some of your experiences with my students. That would be awesome!

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    1. Tom, my man thanks so much for taking time and reading my post. Yes I believe that my enthusiasm was given to me by the Almighty as a purpose and this purpose I use it in my teaching besides others. I will surely write more and intend to make it a weekly feature so that each one of my reader(s) can benefit out of it. I would surely love to Skype with your class and try and share most of my experiences with your students. Best wishes to you and your wife, hoping of course your sister is also doing well. Blessings

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  7. Wonderful writeup. The key thing here is not the subject but the mentoring and inspiration! Whether a teacher, parent, coach, friend, .... you name it. Having encouragement is key to any subject. Look what it did for you!

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely reply 19Pencils. Yes you are right, having a mentor and inspiration is so very important in life. Keep in touch dear friends, Cheers!

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  8. V.... written with true passion! It is evident that your love for such a delightful subject is a long and enduring one! Long may it continue and so too must your blog.
    S

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    1. Thanks S, yes I did involve a lot of passion in it and all my following posts will surely have the "P" word more of it. Thanks again for the support Steve and taking time in reading through my blog post and I surely intend to keep in blog running forever. Cheers Vijay

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  9. So good! I wish all of my students had your love for math! Your writing is inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
    Laura

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    1. Thank you Laura for dropping by and writing a comment, it means a lot. Yes I would love to inspire everyone to get involved in the world of Math after all it is not a bad place that! Hope to @hangout with you and the rest of fellas soon. Cheers

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  10. I am so glad that you decided to share a little piece of your passion and past experiences Vijay! I know that your students are just as inspired by you. I look forward to reading future posts.

    Toni

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    1. Toni, thanks so much for the nice words. I have always tried to be inspiring and so the entry in blogging. I will surely try to make it this regular and watch this space for more next Thursday. Cheers

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  11. Oh what a lovely story! I am so appreciative of your friendship and kindness to a math challenged science teacher..heheh☺. I hope to read more about how you make math so a accessable to students!

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    1. Sharon, always been a pleasure to have known and met you via Twitter. I appreciate your friendship as well and extend my invitation to call upon to visit my blog every Thursday to read and then share my experiences to all your near and dear ones. Cheers

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  12. Vijay, it's great to read your inspirations. I have loved following you on Twitter, and this is another wonderful way to connect with a PLN pal. Your experiences with your teachers are what all kids need to learn: care and compassion mixed with a love for a subject. Keep writing, dear friend. Blessings to you.

    Jessica

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    1. Thank you Jessica for taking the time and reading my post. I have always loved following you on Twitter as well, sharing so many like minded reads. I will be writing every Thursday so you should be able to read the next in less than a weeks time. Keep inspiring me as well Jess and of course I will try and see what I conjure the next time dear friend. Blessings to you and your dear family as well. Cheers

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  13. Dear Vijay... loved your blog... The narrative conveys every bit of the enthusiasm and love you have towards the subject. I loved maths in school too... was my favourite subject back then... just that the inspiration was missing I guess. Keep bloggin and giving us more inspiration through your contagious enthusiasm. All the very best Bro.
    Bhushan

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  14. Dear Bhushan,
    Thank you very much for the kind words. Yes I try to write pretty much the way people around know me and this is exactly why I decided to pen my thoughts. This is going to be a weekly feature and yes you guessed it correct! the next subject will be on Enthusiasm. Keep in touch, love to the family and Aai. Cheers

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  15. Vijay, I love your post... I'm jealous because I always wanted to love math, but I never figured out how! I hope you know what a gift you give your students when you kindle a love for math! Please keep sharing!

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  16. Alison, thanks a lot for your kind words. There is no need to be jealous my dear friend as you can always ask me and thou shalt be ready to answer all your queries Math, Non Math etc. There is no age to learning and I promise that we strive to learn and teach together. Keep in touch. Cheers

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  17. Welcome to the blogging world Vijay! It's is great to hear how and who inspired you into a life long love of maths. All the best with the blog! I look forward to reading it.

    Will

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    1. Thanks a bunch for the warm welcome Will :) hearing from a Math Master like yourself means a lot to me. Keep in touch Will and of course there will be more #Math to follow, btw I will be posting every Thursday. Keep in touch. Cheers

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  18. Hi Viajay,

    Thank you for sharing this learning experience with us - truly moving and one that reflects how passion for learning can be lifelong! As someone who also loved maths, but strayed into the minefields of the humanities, I bow to the continuation of your passion for maths and passing it on to others.

    As a learner, and a teacher, passion for what we do, what we teach, is essential.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts :-)

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    1. Dear Ana,

      Thank you very much for the kind words and appreciation. Yes Maths is surely my passion and I'm glad that I've been pursuing it for the last 4 years. I'm just trying to be a better educator every day and keep myself in very much in the fold of the Maths fraternity of teaching.

      Keep watching this space every Thursday as I will be writing a new one weekly.

      Cheers Ana

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  19. So great to see you in the blogosphere Vijay! My aim as an educator is to also continue that 'curiosity' for learning not only in maths (but in all curriculum). A natural question that leaps forward is ... Do you regard maths as an art or a science? Can both perceptions enhance creativity? :-) #keepblogging

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  20. First of all Damian, thanks a bunch for writing in here. Yes I also believe that curiosity is one of the key elements which can be used as an element of motivating and challenging student. Surely this is not applicable to Maths alone and can be extended to other subjects as well. Maths to me is ever prevalent and she can be perceived in a Mona Lisa painting and she can be observed in the earths revolution around the sun. Both perceptions definitely enhance creative thinking and of course arouse curiosity as well and yes I will #keepblogging.

    Cheers mate

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  21. what a brilliant post. My school years were shaped and informed by a fear of maths, or maybe that was more the fear of maths lessons. I labelled myself as 'bad' at maths and my performance in class would seem to agree with that perception. However At 6th form level I changed my attitude, deciding I was not going to allow fear to hold me back, and joined a group of younger students and studied for and passed Maths O Level as it was then, obtaining a C grade. My proudest moment! As an adult I qualified as a stockbroker, passing the NYSE Series 7 Registered Rep exam, again challenging my fear of logic, numbers, and getting a 'wrong' answer.
    I will never fully lose my worries about maths, but I do respect it and wish I understood it more!
    Sorry to share a lot of reminiscing here but your post triggered deep thoughts in me about my maths 'issues' as my experiences were so different to yours!
    Your gift for numeracy has not impacted on your literacy, your blog post is wonderfully expressed.
    thanks for sharing :-)

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  22. Dear Suzy,

    First of all thank you very much in reading and leaving such a wonderful comment. I personally believe we all have in Maths in our heads, I mean we are all born with her basic knowledge. Now when we start learning Maths in school, the teacher who brings us to our attention this inevitable subject is first and foremost responsible to make our lives easier in understanding and comprehending this seemingly yet daunting area called Mathematics. Now following this, I always believed that there is a sense of self belief which is needed by the student to understand that he/she can real cross this barrier quite easily. Now regarding fear of Maths, I believe that if you are equipped with the certain right amount of artillery then even "Rocket Science" will look very easy. I would be honest in admitting here that in India we still possess those kind of teachers who are willing to cross the line alongside the students and help those kids in moulding their future in the best possible manner. Keep in touch Suzy and my blog will be a weekly edition so watch this space for more on Thursday. Cheers

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  23. Great post! I love the confidence this post offers to girls in math. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,

    Erin

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  24. Thanks for the kind words Erin. Precisely my point I wanted to highlight as well that STEM education and women go hand in hand. I'm glad that the point was resonant. Keep in touch, Cheers

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  25. Hey Vijay. Congrats on starting your blogging journey. I'm sure you will be BRILLIANT :)

    Cheers,

    Michael

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    1. Thanks a lot for the support Michael :) just hope that I can keep up to the weekly basis which I have promised myself.


      Cheers

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  26. Vijay...I'm so happy to see you join the blogosphere. You're going to love it just like I do my friend. Thanks for sharing your passion and journey. You are definitely going to inspire lots of readers.
    Just added your blog to my feedly so I'll be updated when you post.
    Cheers...Karen (KB...Konnected)

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    1. Hello Karen,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. I sure enjoyed the first post and this alone should inspire me in continuing this blog on a weekly turnaround. I will surely try and give my best writing foot forward so that I try and maintain the same quality and consistence.

      Thanks again for your adding blog, hope I manage to add substance and quality in your reading.

      Cheers

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  27. Hi Vijay,
    Welcome to the blogosphere. Your passion shines through your writing. Your post has also highlighted the role teachers can play in kindling fires in their students. May your passion continue to to burn.
    Enjoy the journey.
    Karen

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    1. Hey Karen,

      Thanks for having me here in the blogosphere. I guess it was just a matter of time before I joined the bandwagon and joined all you loved educators spread across the planet.

      Passion is what I have always believed in and I will try and always share all the people around me in my lives as and when they influenced in my thinking. Thank you again for writing in to me.

      Cheers

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  28. Dear BFF,

    Great first post! Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    Your One and Only BFF,

    Jessica

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    1. Dearest BFF,

      Thanks a lot for your kind words. I will surely be writing the blog every week and hope continue to impress you. Trust all is well at your end.

      Your one and only BFF and ever

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  29. Great post, my friend.
    My secondary school Math teacher was an inspiration too. I think my math notebook was the only that I keep from those days, because he was so disciplined that he was able to bring me some order in my otherwise very loose notes.
    I'll be waiting for your next posts.

    Enjoy!



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    1. Thank you Bianca for reading my post and of course for the comments. Yes teachers can very easily mould or rue ones personal as well as professional growth, in our case I guess it was surely the Math teacher. I will be posting a new piece every Thursday so hope to see you again :)

      Cheers

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  30. Hi Vijay, Sophia here! so glad to see you blogging. Your enthusiasm for your subject is really wonderful, I wish all teachers felt like this! Looking forward to future posts :)

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    1. Hello Sophia,

      Thanks for "pushing" me in writing a blog, see I joined you finally. Thanks again for the kind words, hope to make this a weekly habit, so keep an eye every Thursday. See you then and of course on Twitter.

      Cheers

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  31. Dear Vijay,

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts and passion with us, but most of all, thank you for reminding us how much difference a teacher can make on a kid´s life. We have the power to help turn the spark that each child has weather it might be the love for Math, Art , Science or letters into a flame that will make them succeed at what they love.

    I´ll be looking forward for more of your posts.

    Claudia

    I´ll be looking forward to your future

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    1. Dear Claudia,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. Yes I can see we both think very much alike that the teacher can sure make a difference in a kid's life. I try and empower each kid of mine not only in Math, Science and Art but also strive my best to make a better person, a better human being one who is worth of standing up in the society with all his/her human values intact. Looking forward in hearing from you, thanks again :)

      Cheers

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  32. Dear Vijay,
    You have no idea as to how delighted I was when I read your wonderful blog on Maths. You have indeed made your alma mater proud and more specifically, your teacher Ms. Bharathi Shankar who inspired you on this great subject. Acknowledging one’s teacher on public domain is indeed rare and hence your gesture in this regard is worthy of immense praise. May you do well in all your pursuits! Best wishes.

    Mona

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    1. Dear Monisha,

      Thank you so very much for the kind words. Of all the good words showered on me so far, I guess your comment holds the most special feeling in my heart as it comes from one of my teachers in school. I am so thankful to God always when I think of my teachers who definitely made an impression on me when I was a student. May you and your family always have the best of health and happiness in life. Thank you once again Mrs Chandrashekhar for the sweetest words.

      Keep in touch

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  33. Hello Mathman,

    You have written a a short, lucid autobiography. This would be a prefect link to use for your profile. Awesome !!!

    I love Math, Algebra, Trigonometry too !! If you know the theorems, postulates then only can you solve the problems. I think it is like playing the game Bridge. Know the rules and you are good.

    In Addition to Shakuntala Devi, I recollect Ramanujan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approximations_of_%CF%80 pi 3.14......


    Looking forward to your posts on enlightening students towards Math अभ्यास

    @TXTNLRN
    Teaching and learning through text messages.
    http://www.TXTNLRN.com

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Dan :))

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  34. Hi Vijay,
    It is great to share your experiences. Would love to know more about how you were taught maths in Mumbai. Culturally fascinating as the majority of great mathematician are Indian!
    Ian

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    1. Hello Ian,

      Yes Indians and Math have always been together, dates back to the Aryabhatta age when he discover 0.if you ever want to discuss,Maths, I would love to Skype, FaceTime or even Google hangout with me, just let me when and we can surely make it happen.

      Cheers

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  35. Hi Vijay,
    What a great start to your blog! Thank you for sharing your insights into your love for math and also for honoring the math "mamas" who inspired your passion!
    Julie

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    1. Hello Julie,
      Thank you very much for the kind words. Well how can I forget the "mamas " in my life who shaped me so very beautifully in the early part of my #math expedites. Keep in touch Julie and would,love to Skype or FaceTime with you one day.

      Cheers

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  36. How did I miss this blog when it first launched? Hi, Vijay. Welcome to blogging. Having Skyped with you, and tweeted with you over the years, I know your posts will be insightful and informative. I wish you the best of luck and enjoyment as you share your passion with us.

    I liked that you described how your passion for Math and math began and that you recognized your teachers who so deeply inspired you.

    My introduction to and fondness for Math and math was more gradual and involved many people, not just teachers. However, the first real resource with lasting impact on my fondness for Math was a Childcraft Library book called Mathemagic. After nearly four decades, I can still see some of its pages and read some of its words.

    Math has always been recreational to me, full of riddles and puzzles and games. It is this perception of it which drives me to learn more. It is also this perception that has inspired my pursuit and success in other subjects and areas of knowledge.

    Have fun with the blog,
    Shawn

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