As a teacher, I used to categorize students as “ would do well in maths” OR “will do well in maths once hell freezes over”. But as years passed by, I met increasing number of students who managed to score well in maths, despite my prejudice.
Those gritty chaps just kept hanging on to maths like a dog does to socks.
That set me thinking. Most of the maths till high school is formula (algorithm) based. Do enough number of questions on a topic & you start seeing the patterns fast. You start getting the hang of the topic. And this hypothesis seemed to be supported by Mr.Picasso’s life!
Without any guidance, the kids were just afraid to practice. My role was to make these kids do more and more questions. I needed to model myself as a sports coach — just make them kids do more reps.
“ C’mon boys, 10 rounds more!”
An intelligent kid would take 5 reps (questions) , an average 15 and below average 25 reps. In the long run, a below average kid who manages to do 35 questions would be running shoulder to shoulder with an A grade kid.
Simply put, Maths turns out to be a number game…the more number of reps you are ready to put in, the easier it gets.
Pick any topic, do 50 questions, in increasing order of difficulty. And you’ll be able to score well.
A cliche. But to discover it from first principles is terrific.
Just keep in mind, there is a chance that you may not be clear about the building blocks of a topic. Ex. if you are trying to calculate Speed, using speed = distance/time — do you know how to solve fractions ? Or, if you are trying to do Calculus — are you clear about the Algebra / Trigonometry?
On a personal front, this fact about Picasso’s life laid to rest the sadness of “not being a genius”. Because if you are not “ Genius”; then wtf do you do ? You didn’t win smarts in the genetic lottery. So how do you succeed ?
Picasso’s life suggests that Quantity will lead us to Quality and then maybe Genius.
And that Grit works.
Of course, a signboard painter will continue to paint signboards till eternity and not create Mona Lisa - unless she decides to change direction.
Thanks for teaching me how to solve my cubes well, Mr.Picasso :-)