Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Random memory

One of my physics teachers in high school occasionally said that chemistry was basically only a tiny subset of physics (basically, the bits involving electrons in atoms and how they react with one another). I think he intended the statement to annoy the chemistry teachers.

Once, I told my chemistry teacher about that claim; as best I recall, he said that essentially, all of science (including physics) is basically a subset of mathematics.

Might explain why I took Maths, Physics, and Chemistry at Higher level for the IB. Along with only two or three other crazies.

(My fourth Higher was German B, since the teachers wouldn't let me into German B Subsidiary classes—where I, as a native speaker, would totally be far and beyond anyone else—, and I figured German B Higher was less work than German A Subsidiary, and I didn't want to take two A languages anyway. My Subsidiary classes were English A and History.)

(FWIW, they also gave me the option of attending the German BH classes but taking the German BS exam; however, since my plan was to avoid work during the last two years of school rather than at the final exam, that wasn't particularly appealing.)

I always found maths fun, and to this day have difficulty understanding (in the visceral put-myself-in-their-position sense) people who don't. I also consider myself a poor maths teacher since I don't quite "get" people who don't understand maths as well as I do; I have a bit of difficulty following their way of thinking and realising where they started getting confused in a problem.

It helped that I found maths easy; my typical score on tests was 39/40.

And I remember at the end of one year, when students were calculating how many points they needed to score on the final exam to bring their average grade for that year up to a 6 (out of 7 possible grade levels); I think I would have needed to score below 30%, or something like that, in order to bring my average grade down to a 6.

I did find integrals hard, though, for anything non-trivial.

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