First OpenLab Assignment

Your first OpenLab Discussion assignment is to introduce yourself to your classmates.  This assignment is due Thursday, September 1st, at the start of class. Late submissions will receive partial credit.

Assignment. Add a comment in reply to this post introducing yourself to the class.  Your comment should be at least 2 paragraphs in length.  In the first paragraph, introduce yourself in whatever way you wish. You could include your academic interests, why you chose your major, what you enjoy reading, listening to, watching, and doing in your spare time, or anything else you want to share (include your pronouns, if you wish).  In the second paragraph, choose ONE of the following two topics and write a response. Don’t forget to tell us which topic you chose.

Topics (choose ONE).

  1. Was math ever your favorite subject? If so, when was it? What about math made it your favorite? If math has never been your favorite subject, what about it do you not like?
  2. Sometimes people can recognize a time when their opinion of math dramatically changed either for the better or the worse. Tell us about it.

Extra Credit. Get to know your classmates! For extra credit, write a response to one of your classmates’ comments. Do you feel the same? Did you learn anything? Do you have any advice? Be kind.


  1. Jamal W Issa

    Hello, my name is Jamal Issa and my major is Architectural Technology. I chose this major because I wanted to be in a field where I could use my creativity and serve the world around me. Some of my interests are weight training, I am a CPT, playing basketball, and training in muay Thai. I sometimes like to read books and my favorite book is “The Alchemist”.
    I used to love math, but the time I fell out of love with it was when I had to take geometry in High School. Even though High School was a long time ago for me, I remember the dread of not really grasping the concepts. It made me kind of dislike math as a whole. As an adult though, I see that all I needed to do was just focus on my priorities.

    • Esther

      Yeah math can be dreading for me too and I like reading as well. I just finished “see me” by Nicholas Sparks this past summer.

    • Victor Lee

      I understand the feeling of falling out of love with math. There was a time in which math felt like a futile experience; and yet, somehow I’m here teaching it. For me, it was a long way to get to this point. I don’t know how I stopped or when I stopped. Something clicked.

      Maybe this happens for you this semester, Jamal. Maybe it doesn’t. But let’s try together.

      By the way, where do you stand on 5×5 lifting programs? I want to return to becoming the tank that I used to be.(unless we’re talking a different type of CPT here)

  2. MrMattAttack23

    Full disclosure. I am not the biggest fan of the subject overall. I don’t become as passionate about math and formulas as like other subjects I would like such as programming classes physics, languages, or other topics that are simpler for them to relate to. For me, arithmetic consists of confusing, irrelevant, and abstract numbers. In high school my final grade was just good enough for me to receive the standard diploma per NYS guidelines and as a result, I nearly failed my final tests. I was unable to comprehend any of it even after the 4 painful years in high school
    In the 4 years of my high school career, any Math class I would take ranging from Algebra and so on and so forth I would always go to summer school. Times I would go to summer school I would feel defeated and not smart whatsoever. I practically felt defeated when it came to the concept of math.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Matthew,

      Wow, it got that bad, huh? I’m glad you bore your feelings on the matter. It’s not every day a student is so open about this. Yet, I can empathize… Math was not always my favorite subject (heck, that was a recent development). My four years in high school made me feel inferior as a human being and it seeped into my college life when I entered City Tech the first time. It took me a long time to get over that. I hope we can work together help you to have better self-efficacy in math. Don’t hesitate to speak with me or your classmates.

  3. Esther

    I am stuck on deciding what I want to do for the future so I haven’t selected what to study for except having high hopes for Liberal Arts. I am thinking of choosing Liberal Arts because Radiologic Technology and Medical Imaging(one of the majors I want to work on but can’t) is very competitive and I can’t seem to keep up with the competition. I am also thinking of swimming and maybe even become a lifeguard. I used to swim a lot when I was younger but I haven’t done it in a while so I am a bit rusty. But I do hope that I can at least maybe swim again. I used to love swimming but I don’t know how I feel about it now since it’s been so long. I also enjoy listening to music (christian music) for church where I work with the Media team so I need to know how the lyrics go from the beginning to the end of a song to put up through the projector from the laptop where all the songs are.
    I honestly don’t like math because there’s so much steps to remember for different types of what’s in College Algebra and Trigonometry. But I do believe if I get the proper tutoring I can do well like how I did in some school I attended in the past. Why is there so many different ways to get the answer to a question. And the homeworks from webwork are so extra which makes me want to just give up. But I’m not going to give up and get tutoring, the proper tutoring.

    • Dantae Martin

      Hi Esther, nice to meet you! I’m also planning on pursuing Radiology. If you really want to do it I think you should go after it! don’t give up because of the competition…use it to fuel you

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Esther,

      1. I cannot swim. If humans were meant for moving in water, we would have evolved gills or something like that.

      2. Ah, the learning through “steps”. It’s one of the inevitable responses I hear when people talk about math. Procedural learning is fine and all that. However, if steps are all you have, what happens if you miss one? I understand the math cliche that is constantly uttered – “it’s not about the result, it’s about the journey”. Many people interpret it as the steps. However, if you subscribe to that philosophy, then I ask that you take a broader interpretation that the journey also consists of understanding the goal, planning, and self-assessment at all stages of problem solving in addition to execution of steps.

      3. Of course, Esther, I will expect to see you in tutoring.

    • carlagarcia

      Hi Esther, I am also going to follow Radiology. I understand you and it is very competitive, do what you love, go for it.

  4. Dantae Martin

    Hello everyone, my name is Dantae, You can also call me Tae. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you all this semester! Math was my favorite subject from elementary to my freshman year of high school. As a young boy, doing long math problems to arrive at just one answer always brought me great satisfaction and it made me feel brilliant. I took pride in being really good at math, It was one of the things I did best along with singing and playing the piano. As I started to progress in my High school journey, I experienced a change of heart… History started to become a passion of mine and I wasn’t so interested in math anymore. I lost my passion and it caused me to slack off a bit. Hopefully this semester the subject of math wins back my heart again.
    I remember when I was in 2nd grade and my teacher Ms. Bernard was teaching long division. For some reason, it was very difficult for me to grasp the material but I was very determined because long division looked so cool to me at the time. Every break/free time I got that week, I studied and practiced long division until I could perfect it. This was a change for me because it taught me to never quit when things get hard. This is a lesson that I still use to this day. Long division made me a better person.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Dantae,

      Sometimes we find new love in different subjects in school. I agree; history is a fascinating subject, and one needs knowledge in history to have a basic understanding of current events. Maybe this semester, we can bring you back into the math fold.

      I’ve never heard someone say that long division has made them a better person. That being said, it’s too bad they took polynomial long division out of this class’s curriculum. However, have you learned synthetic division? Complete game changer… particularly once you learn factor theorem in precalculus.

  5. Betscheda Jean

    Hello, my name is Betscheda and this is my first semester at city tech. I am majoring in nursing because it’s familiar to me and my first career choice which was teaching doesn’t pay that much. I am also fascinated with human behavior and body language. I don’t read much but I do love watching detectives and law shows. My favorite show is ” Criminal Mind”.
    I always believed that math was my favorite subject which is weird because I am not good at it. When I first learn about a subject, it takes me some time and practice to understand it. The first time here, I saw my teacher solve a division problem I was so confused because I didn’t learn it like that; so, I had to watch many videos to understand how to do it the “American way”. One thing I do love about math is that there isn’t a lot of studying and I could spend hours solving math problems.

    • Ummahy

      Hi Betscheda! We have so much in common haha. I’m also a nursing major and I really wanted to become a teacher as well. I love detective and crime shows too. I think I rewatched criminal minds at least 7 times. I used to also get help from my dad as a kid because he’s a doctor in his country and he was so good at math but he always taught me the “non American way” and it never made sense to me.

    • Siwei Tan

      Hi Betscheda. I love watching Criminal Minds too, and I totally agree with you, math has a strange attraction to us, and we’re unknowingly interested in math.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Betscheda,

      You’re right… the payment for teachers does indeed suck. Even though we’re in New York State, with the 4th highest starting salary and the highest median salary in the country, it’s still a pittance compared to other professions. Also, for all intents and purposes, people pay so much lip service to the idea of respecting teachers more, yet when it comes to contracts, … (long incoherent rambling) … but enough standing on top of this soapbox.

      Practice makes perfect, young lady. Thankfully, I believe I have enabled “Show Me Another” on the WeBWorK. If you want more practice with a certain question type, just press the “Show Me Another” button for a different randomization and practice. It is enabled after one try of each homework exercise, however.

  6. Ummahy

    Hi Everyone! My name is Ummahy and I’m a transfer student this semester at city tech. I’m also majoring in nursing which is why I transferred to this college. I love watching movies and hanging out with my friends. Even though it’s only been a couple days into the semester, it’s been really hard making friends here. I came from a college with tons of friends since I love making friends so I’ve been kind of struggling with that.
    Math has always been a really difficult subject for me. I come from an Asian family and everyone in my family was so good at math however, I didn’t get the genes I guess. As I grew up math started getting more fun because I actually understood what I was learning. I think math is fun when you get the hang of how to solve the problems. It’s still not my favorite subject and I’d like to avoid it if I can but I don’t exactly hate it like I used to as a child.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Ummahy,

      Yeah, transferring colleges can be tough. You’re restarting a new social life, here. However, I’m certain that you’ll be able to make friends while here in this class; we have plenty of fellow nursing majors here *HINT,HINT*.

      I experienced those expectations of having to be good at math. I wasn’t really good at it until later in life for whatever reason. Maybe I was subliminally bad just to defy expectations, I don’t know. I’m glad that you have a positive response when you understand math. Let’s try to experience them frequently in this class.

  7. Siwei Tan

    Hello everyone. My name is Siwei and i am a transfer student. This is my first semester at citytech. I am very happy to meet you guys and I am looking forward to making friends with my classmates.My major is nursing. Although the reason for choosing this major is influenced by my family, but I also interest in this major. I like playing basketball and reading novels in my free time. Reading novels is my favorite hobby. I like to read all kinds of novels, because novels can bring me all kinds of different fantasies.

    Mathematics used to be my favorite subject. I was only interested in mathematics when I was in junior high school. Although sometimes the problems were difficult, But after my efforts to solve this problem, this kind of satisfaction cannot be given by other subjects.Math used to be my favorite subject, I am also very interested in math now, I really enjoy the process of doing math problems.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Siwei,

      Yeesh, I got into math to avoid reading. Then I had to read more than I ever cared to. That’s how college works out, I guess.

      I agree, when one solves a problem (a real problem) and not just a regular exercise, there is a sense of satisfaction for a job well done. I hope to help you keep enjoying math this semester.

    • Esther

      I like reading novels too!
      I just finished “See Me” by Nicholas Sparks this past summer.
      You should look into it! It’s such a wonderful book, I think.

  8. kerreis davis

    Hello everyone,
    My name is Kerreis, this is my first year at city tech. I’m 18 years old, and my pronouns are she/her. I was born and raised in Jamaica until I was ten years old when I moved to the US. I am a big fan of reading manga, writing short stories, watching anime, and running. I am majoring in dental hygiene. I chose this as my major because I want to help educate others on ways to maintain good oral health.

    I was not always the best student when it came to math but I was always very fond of it, so I pushed myself because I liked the fact that it challenged me. However when the pandemic started my teachers had to give lessons over zoom which made it a lot more difficult for me to understand. I was always used to my teacher going over a problem step-by-step with me in person until I understood. so I started to dislike math. This year however I intend to push myself until I have a clear understanding of whatever topic we are covering in class.

    • Victor Lee

      Hello Kerreis,

      Math classes over Zoom were admittedly some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. I felt terrible for the honorable students in my classes, and I paranoia over cheating developed then. Thankfully we’re offline and we can work together as a group – the way school education should be, I guess. That being said, I’m thankful that you will make an earnest effort to understanding our class.

      So when can we get a free cleaning?

  9. kevin

    Hello my name is Kevin Pala, I’m a transfer student from Tiffin university. I’m planning on majoring on math education to be a math teacher. I’m not sure whether I want to be a middle school, or high school teacher. I chose this because in middle school I used to help other students after school with math and I enjoyed it.
    Math has been my favorite subject since since we used to have the multiplication race with the whole class. From their onward I remember liking math. It’s taking me some time now to adjust after taking a gap year.

  10. Victor Lee

    Hello Kevin,

    Awesome! Welcome to the profession. I graduated from math education in City Tech, so I have a lot to talk to you about. However, I have too much to talk to you about – more than I can write without entering TL;DR territory. So I’ll just ask that you visit me during my office hours so we can talk about your future.

  11. carlagarcia

    Hello everyone,
    My name is Carla, this is my first semester at city tech. I am majoring in Radiologic Technology and Medical imaging I picked this major because the imaging work, which gives an inside look at the human body without entering it, is essential for identifying sickness or injuries and that is very interesting to me. In my spare time I like spending time with my family and friends, and also I enjoy watching movies. Math has never been my favorite subject because math has many steps that you have to follow to get the correct result. But I believe in myself and I will do my best on understanding math and practicing on my spare time and getting all the assistance I need, will help me understand and be better in math.

  12. Jazilyn

    Im honestly am not the biggest fan of math. I get it and all but sometimes it’s like a foreign language and that really be stressing me out especially when there’s like 50 letters in one equation.

    • Esther

      wow I am so with you on that. Especially the homeworks…it can be so extra.
      If I were to say it’s like a foreign language that foreign language would be spanish where I had to drop spanish in highschool after my freshman year and never took it ever again after my freshman year. But I would recommend tutoring, be it private 1 on 1 or schools tutoring sessions.

  13. Anh Tran

    Hello everyone,
    My name’s Anh Tran and I’m a freshman and an Architectural Technology major student. But I do hope to switch to just Architecture next semester. I’m pretty passionate about Architecture as to why I chose this college, I want to learn to design spaces for myself and others. I’m not a very active person so I enjoy more reading and art.
    I didn’t have the best math learning experiences the past few years as my motivation to complete any work was nonexistent. Learning became difficult after the pandemic and the missing pieces in my math education just snowballed in my senior year. But I don’t hate math and I do hope to do better in work and learning this semester.

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