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A Reinvigorated Teen Skepchick, plus Embarrassing Revelations about My Math Skills

Oh! I didn’t see you there. Hello, and let me introduce you to the reinvigorated Teen Skepchick. My name is Mindy, and I’m the site administrator. I don’t have the expected background for a skeptic, and I suppose I have taken a long and winding road to this place.

So, how did I get here?

I suppose it started years ago when I was a grade school student in a Catholic school (I know!). I loved science and sciency stuff. I had a microscope and a telescope, neither of which I could manage to work by myself. Bill Nye the Science Guy was de rigueur after school television. The universe was huge and interesting, and I was only beginning to figure it out.

My first love was astronomy, but after several years of every math homework assignment devolving into fits of frustrated tears, I decided that maybe that wasn’t the path for me. Next in line was biology. This had promise. I loved everything about it, and, at least at the time, the math was at a minimum. It was heaven.

But issues began to arise when I had to dissect my first worm. I found it really gross. Don’t get me wrong; I loved learning about the remarkable machine we call the body. So I held my breath and dived right in. But it was gross.

When I managed to get through the worm, the crawfish, the regular fish, and – most harrowingly – the frog, I decided to kick things up a notch. I was going to dissect a cat. And not any cat. A pregnant cat. It, too, was gross. (Although, I did get to keep a little memento: cat fetus in a jar! I still have it somewhere, although I hope I never find it, as I don’t want to give my real-life cat a complex. But I digress…)

It was this experience with the cat – and my subsequent realization that I become light-headed by the sight of blood – made it apparent that this was also not my track. So I thought, ‘Forget this noise. I’ll just be a lawyer or something.’ So that is what I did. I became a lawyer (or something).

But none of that means I have lost my love for the universe, and all its glorious mysteries. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped trying to understand string theory (I mean really, what is that about?), or that I find the differences between chimpanzees and bonobos any less fascinating. And it certainly doesn’t mean I have abandoned an evidence-based view of the world.

Which brings me to the fabulous Teen Skepchick. You’ve already heard from a few of our new contributors, and more are on the way.  We will also have some regular features highlighting women scientists and skeptics, skeptical news and general awesomeness aimed directly at teens. We hope you’ll come back to read some crackerjack writing and commentary, and maybe the odd adorable kitten. And if you can’t get enough of us from the site alone, you can follow me or Teen Skepchick (or both) on Twitter.

Photo credit: tom_harding

 

Mindy

Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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14 Comments

  1. I suppose it started years ago when I was a grade school student in a Catholic school (I know!)

    Ditto. Catholic school is the best breeding ground for skeptics that has ever or could ever be invented.

  2. My first love was astronomy, but after several years of every math homework assignment devolving into fits of frustrated tears, I decided that maybe that wasn’t the path for me. Next in line was biology. This had promise. I loved everything about it, and, at least at the time, the math was at a minimum.

    We really need to reform how math is taught in America. They killed the “new math” some time back (just when it was becoming useful to understand other number bases, like hexadecimal), but now more than ever it is important to learn how math works.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea how this might be accomplished.

  3. just a word about math. When I was in high school (a catholic high school, which for many good reasons was a breeding ground for skeptics, but that’s another story), I totally sucked at math. it was Cs all the way. Freshman year in college, my first math class (algebra and trig), I got a C. I thought my goal of becoming a scientist was a serious mistake.

    Then I took calculus. something happened. Something clicked. I got a B in differential calculus, then an A in integral calculus and suddenly (it seemed at the time), math was no longer a barrier.

    Today, I use all manner of complicated mathematical ideas almost every day. Things change.

  4. @pciszek: “We really need to reform how math is taught in America.”

    Well, possibly. But I’ve always found math to be easy; it’s just so incredibly logical that I’m baffled when people say they don’t “get” it. And I was taught by the same teachers who taught them. Nurture? My 3 siblings were also bad at math. Maybe the difference is simply differing brain structures?

  5. Welcome, Mindy!

    I also have “poor” math skills. You have lots of company, Mindy. I struggled to pass college algebra. My path was quite similar to yours…parochial school, science, and right out of religion.

    “Amen,” DaveW. :-)

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