The inevitability of long term goals is that you will face moments where it seems like the task you’ve set for yourself is too large, and that you’ll never accomplish what you want. These slumps happen all the time, and I’ve found that they usually occur – perhaps somewhat ironically – after a stretch of good progress. What once was novel and fun to work on now seems to be a lot of work for only marginal gains.
I find it amusing that I could probably impress my family at the dinner table by using terminology from my mathematics classes. If I used words like logarithmic, multivariable calculus, hypersurfaces, tangent planes, and linear approximations, I could get them to think that what I’m doing is pretty advanced stuff that they wouldn’t even be able to wrap their heads around.
During primary, secondary, and CÉGEP, mathematics is pretty similar in its style. Essentially, the idea is to give students the tools and skills necessary to be able to solve various problems (both in pure mathematics and applications such as physics or chemistry). There is a large focus on formulas and strategies to solve problems.