Monday, March 20, 2006

George Eliot on Math Education

[Daniel Deronda] applied himself vigorously to mathematics, for which he had shown an early aptitude under Mr. Fraser, and he had the delight of feeling his strength in a comparatively fresh exercise of thought. That delight, and the favourable opinion of his tutor, determined him to try for a mathematical scholarship in the Easter of his second year: he wished to gratify Sir Hugo by some achievement, and the study of the higher mathematics, having the growing fascination inherent in all thinking which demands intensity, was making him a more exclusive worker than he had been before.

But here came the old check which had been growing with his growth. He found the inward bent towards comprehension and thoroughness diverging more and more from the track marked out by the standards of examination: he felt a heightening discontent with the wearying futility and enfeebling strain of a demand for excessive retention and dexterity without any insight into the principles which form the vital connections of knowledge. (Deronda's undergraduateship occurred fifteen years ago, when the perfection of our university methods was not yet indisputable.)


sam said...

PS: I've found that Trader Joe's has Czechvar, and, now that I'm legal, I'm enjoying it right now, as with all the other times I miss BP/last semester. Egesegedre!

sam said...

What's the deal with all the flooding? We (stateside) want updates! Is everything ok? I read online that BKV has acknowledged water leaking into the Batthyanyi ter underpass... is that M2? Can you still metro to school? Hope everyone is well!