My mathematical journey – why am I going on one?

The mathematics half of Mathological combines two passions of mine that sit on two ends of a spectrum—writing and mathematics.

This half of Mathological is partly dedicated to my journey with mathematics, specifically re-learning senior high school mathematics so I can study and gain a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics.

While writing is my first passion, I’ve always been good at mathematics (or Maths as it’s called in Australia). In my second year of high school (Year 8), I was placed in one of the advanced maths classes, however I didn’t do well due to issues in my personal life and I concede it may have been too advanced for me at the time. In Years 9-10, I was placed in an intermediate class where my performance improved, notably placing first out of all the intermediate students with one assessment task (I was only one-and-a-half marks off a perfect score).

At the end of Year 10, I had to choose my subjects for my final two years of high school (Years 11-12), which included choosing a mathematics subject. I knew straight away that I would choose General Mathematics (now known as Mathematics Standard) as I felt I wasn’t smart enough for the Advanced and Extension mathematics subjects.

I continued to perform well in mathematics throughout my final two years of school, however somehow at some point, I fell a little behind in completing my exercises but I was determined to catch up. As I was catching up on my exercises, I began to fall in love with maths and it became my favourite subject over those two years. This showed when I received my final results for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and my highest score was my score for General Mathematics (78). I even considered studying a Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University so I could get a minor in mathematics. However, I chose to follow my first passion and study creative writing and journalism at the University of Wollongong, abandoning my mathematics aspirations.

Over the last two years, admittedly for some unknown reason, my passion for mathematics has re-emerged. I tried to fulfil this re-emerged passion by buying mathematics books, which included buying Basic Math & Pre-Algebra for Dummies, as an attempt to regain my mathematics skills. However, I decided to re-do senior high school mathematics through TAFE as I’m someone who learns better through a formal learning environment, and the pre-requisite for the Graduate Certificate of Mathematics is completing senior high school mathematics, including Extension Mathematics.

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