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Inside Report No 4

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My school report. Summer term 1965. Form 2B

It was at this point that I slammed into something in maths I just couldn't overcome - directed numbers, despite the sterling efforts of  'Jack' Hurley (one of my maths teachers - and the best teacher in the school that I had). I always thought of multiplication as a form of addition; 7 x 3 being adding 7,  3 times. So when I was confronted with -7 x -3, I found I had to add -7, -3 times. -3 times? How on earth can you do something  -3 times, or any minus number of times come to that? Didn't see it then, and can't see it now, and I've got an A Level (Grade B) in Philosophy! But that was always my trouble. I wasn't content with just learing the 'how' of things, I had to know the 'why' of them as well. And why (say) -7 x -3 = +21 is as big a mystery to me now, as it was then.
Click the link below to see inside the next report.

Inside Report No 5