I asked 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade summer school students at a Pasadena high school to write a paragraph on (their choice) “Why I Love Math” or “Why I Hate Math.”

Their responses (names removed for privacy, no spelling or grammar corrections):

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I wouldn’t necessarily say that I hate math, I just dislike it a great deal. Algebra is currently not my best subject and has never been. The reason as to why

I do not like math is because it is confusing and I get headaches from trying to solve all of these equation and word problems. I am very good at basic math, but when it comes to Algebra, I am terrible. If teachers found a way to make math more fun and interesting for their students they would be more interested in learning it. And not all the students

have the same learning style so you would have to put that into mind too. But as of now, it is hard, boring, confusing and at our age we just don’t see the need for more of it in our future. But then again,

that is my personal opinion. I’m sure that there are many people who love math and find it very easy and fun to learn. We’re all different. There will be

things that you like in life and things that you don’t like. There will be things that you find extremely easy and things that you find extremely hard. That is

just the way life is. Think of it as an obstacle that you have to overcome to get where you want to be.

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Math is my least favorite subject. I really do not like math one bit. Although I think math is unique because it is everywhere you look and is the same in

every country, I can not seem to understand it. All my life I have not been able to understand the math. I honestly don’t think I should have passed

Pre-Algerbra but, I am very grateful that I did.

I have never been good at math… why? It could be because I’m just useless when it comes to math, or I just don’t try hard enough.

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I didn’t always hate math, in a matter of fact I used to like it a lot. It wasn’t till I started 8th grade that I began to lose my love for the subject. Up till

now, math has become very troublesome now that I’m having such a hard time with it almost all the time. What I think I need to do is to slowly go thought all of it, to improve my overall understanding

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Well I don’t hate math I just don’t understand. How to do it Sometimes but sometimes I do hate math maybe because of the teacher, Classmates, or because I

didn’t understand it and the teacher call on me then I don’t answer question quickly but yes I don’t hate math I just don’t understand it but I’m willing to learn How.

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The reason why I hate math because it really doesn’t interest me anymore. Math used to be my favorite subject when I was younger but not it’s whatever to me. Math can be very easy or it can be very hard to

you. But personally math isn’t my subject anymore. The reason I hate math, because it’s no spark to it. I just hate math period.

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Why I hate math its because all the fractions and the ather things and all the Decimals and metric system, percent thats why Hate Math.

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Mathematics is the most challenging subject for me. I don’t like math because I get lost so quickly. When I don’t understand it after the teacher just explains it I get frustrated. When I ask for the teacher to repeat it all the kids get upset that makes me feel embarrased. I sometime like math when I understand

it and get good grades. But when it comes to fractions or memorizing formulas I completely hate math.

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I hate math because there is to much thinking and that makes my head hurt. It also gets me tired because it is boring. I never like math because when I was a

little kid I wouldn’t like to work with numbers. I also hated the way they teached it. Math to me is very boring.

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The reason I don’t like math is because you have to memorise alot of things. You have to memorize alot of formulas and alot of ways of doing the things. I don’t like math also because some problems are very

hard to understand, or to do Math just makes you think and work to much.

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Everyone has a Subject that they dislike. I hate math Just because it’s a group of numbers put into one problem. And Just the chances at getting a probelm Correct is low chances. And it affect people

emotionally they start thinking and well it can not be over with.

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I hate math because math is really hard to do. Math has so many rules to follow to be able to solve a problem and if u don’t follow them the problem will be completely wrong. The problems are very complicated

and sometimes can be confusing. I don’t think that I would need to use this kind of math besides just the basics in our lives. All these fractions and decimals

may be common but math is my worst subject.

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I hate math because it confuses me. Similar to girls, it confuses me more when I try to understand it (them). I have never been at ease with the subject. I feel intimidated by it, and as a result, I tend to second guess myself when solving problems.

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I hate math because it make’s you think too much and it hurts my brain and I don’t like thatabt.

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I don’t like math because it is boring I really dont like math It makes my head hurt and math doesn’t really make me think. Math makes me sleepy. I use to

like math when I was in 5th grade but when I hit middle school I started hating math I don’t seem to get math know to me math is hard.

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Hi my name is ******* ********. and I really don’t care for math. I have a hard time understanding certain parts of the math. When I get stuck on a problem I lose focus and then give up. But I would

like to get help so that being able to understand math will make it more fun and easy.

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First. I don’t like math because never passt this class and I don’t understen Nothing I want passt math in summer school because I don’t want repid more math. Second. The math little bet is my faborite class but want understen math this class is Hart. Thirth. matematic I don’t like but make my major idea for understen and passt the math class.

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Math is the worst subject Invented. Its so hard and intricate. URCTH. It involves way too much thinking and brainwork. I rarely do the work w/out a calculator. And I cheat a lot every chance I get now

don’t get me wrong. I do good at everything (SUBJECT) else I do. So maybe I could learn to discipline to myself to focus and excel at math, cuz I’ve BEEN

failing since about 2nd grade. So do what you need.

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I honestly dislike math because of of one good reason, and that is all because I have taken Alegbra 1 for about 3 years now. It is the same stuff over and over

again. Having to go through the same course so much has gotten on my nerves. I used to like math, until my 8th grade teacher did not want to transfer me to a

higher level of math because I had gotten a C average. That upset me in such an enormous way because I PASSED!

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Math is like whatever to me I like it when I get what their teaching me. And when I don’t get it, I hate math. Overall math is OK, I don’t necessarily hate it

or like it.

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What I think about Math. There are some things I like about math and Somethings I don’t like. I like learning new math consepts. I also like the feeling

of getting my answers right. I do not like taking math test. I do not like the tests because of the memorizations.

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Right now I hate math because it’s complicated for me, back then it wasn’t because it was all basic for me and easy, but not when I entered Pre-Algebra that’s

when I said to myself “damn this isn’t basic’s any more”. After that it just started to get complicated in Algebra or I just started to forget the equations or lesson the teacher told me. Another reason I hate math is because I always get low grades on tests no matter what I just get a D- or F. Another reason I hate math especially when it is mathematical word

problems, man they are so confusing, I don’t even read the problem or equation.

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Although I’m in summer school to take math again, I like math. I like doing math sometimes. Sometimes I don’t like it. I used to be good at math, really good. Then I just froze, and since then I haven’t really been good at it any more.

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I don’t hate math or like math I just find it unfavorable.

For me it is always been harder to understand than most subjects.

There is just something about numbers that is confusing especially fractions.

I know that I need Algebra 1 i just wish it was easier to understand.

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The things I hate about math is this doing homework. I mean whats the point of doing it at home. I mean where not in the classroom. Another thing I hate doing is working out long problems, I really don’t

feel like doing it I mean who does.

Now lets talk about things I like about math is the learning experience. I mean even though I’m very smart, and intelligent individual. And when I feel

like working I and really focus.

So that’s the things I like and hate about math.

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I love math because when you get job you have to no math to count the money you get. Another reason why I love math is because it is more easy then something

else and you will need it if you want a good paying job.

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I love math because without math I can’t count my money.

And also the more math you learn the more money you make. You use numbers everyday, without knowing math, Algebra, how are you gonna know if your getting the right change back from the money you spend. So that’s why I take math.

But I still don’t like to sit in a math class.

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Copyright (c) 2007 by Computer Futures, Inc.

## Re: Why Math Teachers Get Grumpy

In lower-level courses, where the students are still learning formal mathematical style (e.g. meaning of unique, distinct, …), I have found it useful to award 20% of the points for writing style. Then I try to make clear what this means. The two most important words to tell them are precise and concise. This seems to help them break the habit of writing down every single thing that occurs to them in the hope that somewhere in there the grader will find something worthwhile.

I also like questions that ask them to give either an example of X or a proof that no such example exists. I find them much less soul destroying to grade than the standard question that asks them to prove Y. For example, give a complex number that generates a degree 11 Galois extension of Q.

Maybe they’re more fun to grade because you often get unexpected but correct answers, so there are many ways for their mathematical personalities to shine through. Also you can often tell instantaneously if they got it right or not. I even think they are better measures of understanding. But I don’t know how you could make the proof of the infinitude of primes into something of this format, and it’s hard to get more important than that. But with that question, they can only either meet your preconceived ideal or come up short, so you’re almost setting yourself up for disappointment, in my opinion.