Experience > Mathematics
"But if there's infinitely many solutions, why is it just one line?"
As an Undergraduate Assistant in the Mathematics Department at Michigan State University, I have small classes of freshmen and sophomores learning basic algebra. Most of my students have never been taught algebra, much less taught it in ways that are helpful to their learning. One of the ways in which I approach new concepts, especially concepts students have difficulty grasping, is through metaphor. As a poet, metaphors are natural descriptions, explanations, and comparisons for anything in life.
In answer to the question above:
+ What's a letter? (A symbol)
+ What's a word? (A group of letters)
+ What's a sentence? (A group of words)
+ What's a paragraph? (A group of sentences)
+ What's a chapter? (A group of paragraphs)
+ What's a book? (A group of chapters)
So, if a book, only one book, is a group of chapters, which is a group of paragraphs, and so forth, how come a line can't be one thing and also many things? For my student who asked the question, this made sense, where the mathematical explanation did not, perhaps because the concept of an infinite number of points an infinitely short distance away from each other is difficult for anyone, including professional mathematicians, to understand.
In answer to the question above:
+ What's a letter? (A symbol)
+ What's a word? (A group of letters)
+ What's a sentence? (A group of words)
+ What's a paragraph? (A group of sentences)
+ What's a chapter? (A group of paragraphs)
+ What's a book? (A group of chapters)
So, if a book, only one book, is a group of chapters, which is a group of paragraphs, and so forth, how come a line can't be one thing and also many things? For my student who asked the question, this made sense, where the mathematical explanation did not, perhaps because the concept of an infinite number of points an infinitely short distance away from each other is difficult for anyone, including professional mathematicians, to understand.
Tutoring: An AntiOppression Approach
Both of the students to the right taught me how to incorporate different styles into my teaching. Leah helped me include physical activity within the mnemonic devices I offer my students. (See Graphing Poetry). Terri helped me realize ways of including students' first languages within lessons, even when I don't know that language. (See Importance of Home Language).

As a tutor in a Lansing area high school, I've seen systematic oppression work to exclude many of my students from adequate education. (Names have been changed)
