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Do you ever get stage fright from people watching you do a math problem

  1. Oct 9, 2011 #1
    Like if a tutor asks you to do a problem, or a teacher, even if you know how to do it very well, you just get shy or nervous, or start laughing? Like if they are hovering over you watching you? Sometimes telling them this helps, and they can come back and check after though.
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  3. Oct 9, 2011 #2


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    I get stage fright from my wife watching me hang a picture on the wall. Does that count?
  4. Oct 9, 2011 #3
    That's awesome lol
  5. Oct 9, 2011 #4


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    I really hate solving problems in front of any audience, even if it's just one person!

    Maybe it's because I always do problems alone. I've never regarded homework or studying as a group activity.
  6. Oct 9, 2011 #5


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    She's respectfully silent of course.

    It's the t-shirt she wears while standing there, with three inch letters that say "YOU'RE DOIN' IT WRONG"...
  7. Oct 9, 2011 #6
    That would be funny if she also had a t shirt that read:
    "I'd love to agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong."

    Saw one like that in a catalog and it was pretty funny :)~
  8. Oct 9, 2011 #7


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    It depends on whether the people are more focused on the argument itself than me presenting it.
  9. Oct 12, 2011 #8
    totally yes, I thought I was the only one. I hate having someone watch me work stuff out, it breaks my concentration.
  10. Oct 12, 2011 #9
    It depends for me, on how much extra explaining I have to do. Like, if I'm explaining group theory to someone who needs a lot of background info, I find myself turning into a bumbling idiot. But, other than that, I do fine. Even when I was doing proofs right in front of my professor, in a 1 on 1 independent study on proofs, I did fine, as long as he didn't ask any questions. But as soon as my logic wasn't clear, I almost knew I'd have to just ask him how to do it because there's almost no way I'd be able to explain it without some privacy to gather my thoughts. I'd usually just ask for his way and bring my clarified proof to the next class.
  11. Oct 13, 2011 #10


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    Depends on whether I know how to do the problem or not.

    In my first college math course, people within a couple points of an 'A' had a chance to raise their grade by solving a problem in front of the class that the professor chose. Naturally, the problems hadn't been something covered in class, but close enough that we might be able to see how we could extend what we'd learned to cover these new problems. Seeing as how these would be tough for us to see the link between these problems and what we'd covered, we could get up to three chances and only have to solve one (how many chances we got depended on how successful the others were - if the first couldn't solve his problem then the next got a chance at his, plus kept his own chance, and so on with the order rotating each day).

    Three of us took him up on the offer and it is a very uncomfortable feeling to stand up in front of the class, write the problem on the board as he gives it, and to realize you don't have a clue where to start. And making a start and then realizing you were heading down a dead end just makes you even more uncomfortable. None of us were able to solve the first day's problem. We just looked clueless.

    I was up first on the second day, which was a little cruel. If I'd realized the other two guys were going to just accept a 'B' rather than stand clueless in front of the class, I probably would have backed out too. As it was, I fumbled unsuccessfully with the problem just as I had the first day.

    The third day, the other two guys backed out again. The only reason I went through with a final attempt on the third day was because I knew I'd only have to do this once more regardless of whether I succeeded or failed. The third day's problem was as bad as the first two, but looking at it, I suddenly realized an approach that really should work - and it did!

    The other two guys were a little bummed out. One could have solved the second day's problem and the other could have solved the third day's problem (and he would have first chance at the third day's problem - I would have been shut out).

    Kind of a fun little game for the professor, and maybe even for the rest of the students to watch, but a pretty nerve wracking game to actually play.
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