Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Math: friend turned foe

Besides Financial Aid telling students their FAFSA didn’t go through, nothing scares college students more than math.

According to Angela Conley, department chair of science, engineering and math (SEM) said, “Student mindset, when it comes to mathematics, at Cerritos College is trying to create a positive mindset, an optimistic mindset, as far as mathematics goes helping students realize that it doesn’t matter what professor you have … it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail it.”

She added that there has been a negative spotlight that has been placed on the subject of math and she thinks that is the cause as to why math is seen as the villain to college success.

An analogy for the issue she got from a math professor says, it is almost embarrassing to declare one is illiterate, people try to hide that fact as much as they can; however, if one is to say they cannot do math, people agree and find it okay if someone struggles in math.

She said, “Math is a perishable skill, if you don’t work it, you won’t keep it.”

Coming in with a clear mind into math, forgetting about what others say about math, and getting the help needed like the Learning Resource Center is what Conley wants students to do to succeed.

She said the Math Club is also a resource that can help students ease into math by offering a free hour of math tutoring and surrounding themselves with people that like to do mathematics.

Math Learning Center tutor, Desiree Rodriguez, is constantly talking and working one-on-one with students.

Rodriguez meets with students four days a week.

She said, “[Students] are not familiar with math vocabulary and it gives them a lot of problems with word problems and that’s a big challenge in early mathematics.”

She added that writing multiplication problems down and counting on fingers is acceptable to do.

According to Professor Mark Hugen, mathematics is a language that is universal and it takes practice to get it right.

He said, “People will acknowledge the fact that I can’t do math, but they won’t acknowledge they have trouble reading for example.”

Conley and Hugen believe the cloud of negativity that has surrounded math stems from students telling each other certain math classes or math professors are impossible to follow.

Hugen said, “Math is a language, it’s not a natural language, it’s one you have to learn, you have to learn the letters, the numbers and know the relationships they have with each other.”

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About the Contributor
Sebastian Echeverry, Editor in Chief
Hello all, my name is Sebastian Echeverry and I am the Editor-in-Chief for the fall 2015 semester. I have been working for the newspaper for four semesters now and slowly climbed the ranks from staff writer, to assistant sports editor, to sports editor, news/managing editor and finally the big cheese. My interest in journalism began when the twin towers fell on September 11 and the U.S. invaded Iraq. Global news coverage of airstrikes in Baghdad plagued the media and my father who served in the Colombian military would sit with me and explain what was going on to me. I was only eight years old at the time, so putting politics aside, I was only interested in how reporters on the front lines were seeing history unfold in front of them. Since then, I enjoyed reading and writing especially about global news. My first taste of research was for a high school paper about the militias still active in the U.S. I remember sipping some brew outside on the Coffee Bean's patio and being swallowed up by data, and liking it. I Currently have a part time job at Calvin Klein, my favorite sport is soccer and I love, Barcelona, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund. I also enjoy watching hockey and my favorite team there is the Detroit Red Wings, yeah weird I know. I'm an easy person to approach and talk to and if you have story ideas let's get cracking on them! my email is: [email protected] My Twitter is: C_bass581141 My Instagram is: onlyc_bass5 and for giggles my snapchat is: onlyc_bass5
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Math: friend turned foe