Tuesday, January 26, 2010

back to school

remember many, many years ago the commercial for bata shoes - 1st to bata, then to school?

i've sort of gone back to school. but it's 1st to popular (book store) ....

then the book.....

then to school.

actually, it's self study. my daughter said add maths is tough. i tried to recall those days in form 4 but didn't think it was THAT difficult. anyway, i thought i'd just go thru the subject myself & try to put myself in her shoes. (definitely, not bata!)

i tried out quadratic equations last nite (for the 1st time in 30 years!) & it was still ok. it did come back to me eventually. i just have to tell her that it's a piece of cake  not that diffcult - those problems can be solved with practice & perhaps a little luck  perseverance.

for the record, i wasn't a distinction student for add maths.


Michelle Mak said...

oh no.. addmaths is one of the sub i hated most! hahah
never ever give me addmaths question..i will cry.. LOL

reanaclaire said...

my girl is in form 4 too and i can see her struggling with add maths now... i can only watch helplessly cos i m no add maths student... too bad my son is not here to give her some tutorial lessons, i guess she has to struggle with it herself... a piece of cake to u but a heavy burden upon her shoulders.. :( hope she can cope up with it ...

doc said...


unfortunately, science students will have to go thru this difficult subject.

doc said...


a piece of cake only because i've done it before, albeit many years ago. it's just like relearning to ride a bicycle again.

unfortunately, she'll HAVE to cope because there's no other way if one is to pursue a science-related course.

all the best to your daughter!!

suituapui said...

It's how it is taught that makes the subject difficult...even General Maths. I taught my daughter (even though I almost failed the subject in Senior Cambridge) and she asked how come she could not understand when the teacher taught the same thing...and somehow I found their Maths a lot easier than what I had in school. Dropping standards?

Usually they will just show them an example or two - how to do - just the steps...and then give hundreds of questions as exercise! Is it any wonder that students today are like zombies? No thinking skills!!!

doc said...


with due respect, & correct me if i'm wrong, i think most teachers take the easy way out by preparing lessons like how you described & then repeat it with the next class.

one size doesn't fit all because every student is different, but perhaps because of other factors, eg. too much admin work, co-curricular activities, the lessons are not up to mark & the students suffer.

which begs the question - how is it then that they still can score a string of As?

perhaps that may open a can of worms!!

suituapui said...

As are a dime a dozen...not during my Senior Cambridge time. I did not even get one, not even for English Language! Have you heard that they can pass Add Maths with less than 10 marks? And the horrifying part is...they go on to become engineers, doctors and what have you!

doc said...


ah, the can of worms.....!

& yes, my friend the teacher did mention the 10-mark pass. so, no wonder we go on to become "jaguh kampungs" & are proud of it!!

anastasia said...

you cannot use a malaysian textbook for the singapore standard. And definitely not for maths.

doc said...


short of asking you for your copy, i just grabbed one off the shelf at popular.

anyway, i just want to recall the principles of add maths & work from there. how different can that be across the causeway, right??

Bengbeng said...

i am impressed you can remember stuff from so many yrs ago.. perhaps it is just like the skill of cycling

doc said...


i wouldn't have managed without the book. besides, it's the only subject i can help my daughter with. the science subjects require too much "brain power" that i don't possess.

ha ha!

carr0ts said...

I am the minority here in this interesting "comments-room" because Add Maths was my top 3 favourite subjects at school. haha. no, I'm not weird, but I have to say I am indebted to my teacher who taught so well. I've talked to many students since then and found out that the reason most of them found it difficult is because they lack Understanding.

As doc said, yes it's true, most teachers at school don't bother to explain, hence students fail n worse, hate the subject. :( And this is the reason they can fail it at school and later on excel in engineering/sciences BECAUSE it was later at college/university that they finally understand what it's all about and, indeed, with enough practice (this again, is motivated by Aha!-Now-I-Get-It!), it becomes a piece of cake. I don't think it's fair to label people as jaguh-kampungs without knowing enough.

I used to coach my younger brother and cousins each time I get to go home for holidays, and focused on the understanding part. It works, once they understand what it's all about. Maths is logical, for all I know.

And since I'm a jobless recent graduate, (btw, I did engineering, haha...) this conversation is making me miss teaching students Add Maths.

A note for doc, the book you have is good enough. I studied first term of my A-levels at Singapore and didn't notice any significant differences when it comes to Maths & Add maths. Malaysian standard is not THAT bad. :)

doc said...


thanks for your comments.

i agree - understanding the basic principles of maths is crucial to solving the problems, which is why you can still teach the subject long after graduation.

the jaguh kampungs i mentioned referred to the students who score As based on a passing mark of 10, & thereby amassing a string of them.

just as i thought the book was good enough, i just found out that it doesn't include partial fractions, which my daughter asked me to teach. turned out that it's in the STPM maths S syllabus!!

hope you'd land the job you want soon!!

carr0ts said...

thanks! I really admire your efforts to learn it for the sake of teaching your daughter, it is absolutely.... (insert word). The reason this post tugged at my heartstrings was because this is one of the few vivid memories I had with my dad - him teaching me maths and science. But he gave up at Form 3 cos he couldn't recall anymore. Somehow, I enjoyed the 100% attention very much :)

Blessed daughter, blessed dad. Thumbs up for you! Good luck!

doc said...


i also would like this to be a lasting impression my daughter has of me, & hopefully she'll appreciate it enough for her to do the same for her children!!

the only word i can fill is "paternal."

thanks for your kind comments.