I am looking for some special students to mentor. The student I am
looking for is:
- planning on taking calculus or pre-calculus next
- is an average or better student.
- thinks he/she will do well in calculus, intends to do well, but
expects that it might be hard work.
(Ha! I will disabuse you of that idea! You will
do well, but not because of hard work!
Instead you will do well because with real
understanding you will find it easy work!)
- If you are way behind, this course is not for
you. You should be retaking Algebra II, or, working with me in my
"Algebra II review" course!
Mathematics is an extremely sequential subject: each concept builds
upon the previous concept; every chapter depends upon understanding
the previous chapter. The moment you miss one small thing,
everything from that point on suffers and the problem snowballs
until you are overwhelmed. Thus, it was the things that you did or
didn't learn very early on that make all the
difference. Worse yet, most high school courses skip right over the
basics or cover them very briefly. Consequently everything after
that seems "hard".
What I will do with you:
- discover what you have learned and how well you have
- find the holes in your education. Find out where you might be
- prepare a custom "bring you up to full speed" course to fill in
all the gaps.
- ensure that you understand the most Basic, Fundamental stuff.
- inspire you to appreciate the Basics.
- stress the very Basic of Basics.
- and did I mention that we will work on the Basics? :-)
What I will NOT do for you:
- help you through to the next test, aka "cram".
- You should NOT be currently enrolled in a
Calculus class. I want to get to you *before* they ruin you!
(And it creates double the work, we have to both
review the past and simultaneously keep up with the present).
I don't care about the advanced stuff. I care about the simple
stuff. My point of view is this:
When you deeply understand the Basic Stuff, the rest
The current "school" system tends to introduce a basic concept and
then immediately proceed on to use it in more advanced ways, without
really stopping to fully get it.
The basics aren't considered important and no significant time is
spent on them. They are not appreciated for their fundamental
usefulness (I might add, "fundamental beauty").
Too often I have talked to a college student or graduate who
mentions that he or she took Calculus, and when I ask them what is
"The Fundamental Theorem Of Calculus", they don't know it! That's
like asking a professional driver what the gas pedal is for! They
were taught very advanced things, which were promptly forgotten, but
never spent any time on the very basic and important things!
Once you *get* the basics, you will never forget them! And then you
can learn the rest on your own; you won't need me, or anyone else. I
don't believe that people for whom a subject "comes easily" are
somehow born that way, or have a higher IQ or a "gift". I don't
believe that it was because they worked harder. I think it has
everything to do with being allowed to truly grasp each fundamental
idea to *complete* understanding, before being rushed off to the
next one. When one grasps each step before going onto the next, each
step is "easy"!
So, that is what I can do for you. I will clear up all the very
simple things and prepare you to explore the rest with a sense of