High school teachers are by nature non-intellectuals; students are by nature intellectuals.
As a mathematician there is a story I hear a lot. It tends to come up whenever I tell someone what I do for the first time, and they admit that they don’t really like, or aren’t very good at, mathematics. In almost every case, if I bother to ask (and these days I usually do), I find that the person, once upon a time, was good at and liked mathematics, but somewhere along the way they had a bad teacher, or struck a subject they couldn’t grasp at first, and fell a bit behind. From that point on their experiences of mathematics is a tale of woe: because mathematics piles layer upon layer, if you fall behind then you find yourself in a never ending game of catch-up, chasing a horizon that you never seem to reach; that can be very dispiriting and depressing.
— Zen and the Art of Mathematics
— The Narrow Road
All children are born geniuses; 9999 out of every 10000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniusized by grownups.
— Buckminster Fuller
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