Why Am I Taking This College Math Class Anyway?

Why am I taking this college math class? A viewer (an aspiring paralegal) writes in and asks Attorney Ben Schwartz about college math and quadratic equations. 

Why Am I Taking This College Math Class Anyway?


Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.

Today, I’m going to answer a question from Alan in Dover, Delaware. Alan asks: “I’m currently in a paralegal program and would like to know if any of your paralegals do anything with quadratic equations? At least 97% of us are scratching our heads and wondering if we would ever use this in our field. It’s a college degree requirement, but [will] we ever use this in the real world?

You may be watching this and wonder: what the heck is a quadratic equation? If you want to plot something on a graph with four quadrants, you would use a quadratic equation. Alan, it really depends on what type of paralegal you will become. If you’re going to be a paralegal who assists criminal defense attorneys handling murder cases, you might want to know something about quadratic equations. You might need to chart the trajectory of a bullet, and you would need to be able to know and understand quadratic equations to do this. A bullet follows a specific path when fired, and a quadratic equation helps to determine its curve. You may never use quadratic equations, though. Quite frankly, I learned quadratic equations when I was in college and forgot all about them.

But, as you go through college, university, job or your life, you need to stop resisting the way things are. In other words, as you go through life, get an education or participate in any system – there is the way that things are done and how they proceed. Sometimes, it really pays to fight back against that way. Most of the time, it really pays if you sort of lose yourself, don’t resist and go ahead and follow along. If your degree program mandates that you take certain math classes, they may mandate that you learn quadratic equations. If you want to get your degree, you need to take the class, buckle down and learn what you need to learn. Take the exams that you need to take, do well on them and move on. You can forget about them later because you probably will not use them. But if you are going to use them, you can go back and relearn that information from a book or from your class notes. If you always try to fight against the way the world works, you will be beating your head against the wall. If you learn to go with the flow, then you will be really doing yourself a favor.

I grew up at South Bowers Beach, Delaware. The Murderkill River separates South Bowers Beach from North Bowers Beach. I used to go fishing up that river for perch. It had the biggest perch, but you had to go pretty far up the river. I like to go fishing, and I had a small boat with a 7.5 horsepower air-cooled Briggs & Stratton motor on the back.  If I wanted to go fishing at 10:00 am, then I would go fishing at 10:00 am. If the tide was coming out when I wanted to go up the river, I was fighting against a 6 or 8-knot current because the river was moving quickly. If I waited until the tide started coming in and went up the river, I could fish until the tide turned and started going out. I could come back out the river and my engine would never overheat. I would get as far as the good fishing grounds – and I would always eat well.

My personal advice to you, Alan, is to figure out what direction you’re heading and follow that way. Don’t fight against it. Go with the flow, and you’ll find that you will get your degree and become successful. Things are much easier for you when you follow along rather than when you try to buck against the system.

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz. Hope you found this video informative and interesting!

Why Am I Taking This College Math Class Anyway?

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