I started studying physics as a boy in Maine while teaching myself the mathematics as I went. There were strengths and weaknesses to this method. There were holes in what I knew but also a great sense of confidence in understanding things that people who painted by the numbers would never know or wouldn’t for many years. Math became a rebel adventure for me in the days before the internet hunting through libraries, magazine articles and book stores for the odd bit of advanced math that was often accidentally ordered.
My strengths are knowing the various subjects backwards and forwards, along with the history and interesting characters involved, and having the rare ability to remember what it was like not to know it. Most people’s problems with mathematics come from a lack of motivation and ability to see how it relates to what they care about. Abstraction alone just does not work for most people. The success of others makes me happy and seeing that people can do far more than what the schools set out for them appeals to my rebellious nature.
Sometimes my teaching success has crept into other disciplines. I started tutoring one boy in algebra and wound up teaching him sciences and English as well. He was from a family that mostly spoke Korean at home and needed some extra help on grammar and composition. I didn’t remember all the grammar rules (does anyone remember these later?) but we had fun figuring them out and reading his essays and sci-fi stories.
“Cliff saved our son. He is now the honored hero of our family!” -Jae
I have students that have gone from failing to A’s, some attending top schools like Middlebury College, NYU, UNC Medical School, and the like. Message me today and let’s see if we can’t put you or your child on a better path. Nothing makes me happier than a kid who doesn’t need me after a few months. When it’s time to go, I am very happy but I love to get updates on their progress. =)