« What the ... Did Bush Void Patriot Act's Oversight Provisions with Stroke of His Pen? (What Happened to Checks and Balances?) | Main | Lee Peoples Reporting from the Bricks, Bytes and Continuous Renovation Conference: Second Installment »
March 27, 2006
A View from the Stacks: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From My Math Book?
I bought a GRE book a while back off Amazon.com in the hopes of spurring along my higher-higher education track. Turns out that it makes a wonderful prop for my curling iron, balancing my $50 Kmart table and making it look like I am serious about this whole going back to school.
My reluctance to dive right into this book is based on the simple fact that every time I look at the math portion, I think the same thing: where in the history of law librarianship has someone needed to answer a reference questions involving the area and volume of a cone? Or calculating the amount of space a cylinder occupies? My 12th grade calculus teacher may be disheartened to hear that after I passed my college admissions math tests, the most math I have done is to balance my check book (albeit on rare occasions). But when I open my GRE test prep book, I am confronted with differential equations, formulas that I know I once knew and those annoying matrix things. And I begin to wonder, “Do graduate programs really look at the GRE?”
Turns out they do.
And each year it gets more competitive to get into the top programs. So now, I have found myself in the situation much like I was in the 10th grade, prepping for the SAT: making flashcards. Nothing fancy, but frankly, in beginning to review those tricky little formulas that I at one time really enjoyed working on, I have begun to see the benefit in being an active learner in all stages of life. I never really understood the value of intellectual curiosity when I was in high school because they pretty much forced it on me. But today, I realize that allowing skills that I once had to fall to the wayside has resulted in me making flashcards. The same flashcards I made when I was 16, for that matter.
But, in the end, I think I can honestly say that I will be better off for really taking the time to study for this rite-of-passage test. Because my initial instinct to wing it might end up backfiring when the first question I see asks me to identify the value of a plane cut by two lines in three-dimensional space.
Stina McClintock, Library Technician, King County Law Library (Seattle)
Editor's Note: No calculus or trig in LSATs because, as we all know, lawyers aren't rocket scientists.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A View from the Stacks: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From My Math Book?:
And Bart didn't think he needed to know Roman Numerals:
Posted by: Bobby | Apr 5, 2006 10:07:35 PM