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Kate Bendrick

Picking the Right Major: How Do You Beat the Robots?

Attempting to mold your future is a daunting task, made no easier by a rapidly changing technological environment. Motivation in choosing a major boils down to two main concerns: passion and personal fulfillment versus the likelihood of obtaining a reasonably (or wildly) lucrative job down the line. Some pick a major to fulfill one over the other, some try for a major that balances the two in some way. For those concerned with finding a path to financial stability and prosperity though, how to choose wisely?

The Right Blend

Most of us can remember being subjected to word problems, whether it was a happy challenge or a moment contributing to a lifelong math anxiety. A coffee merchant has two types of coffee beans, one selling for $3 per pound and the other for $5 per pound. The beans are to be mixed to provide 100 pounds of a mixture selling for $4.18 per pound. How much of each type of coffee bean should be used to form 100 pounds of the mixture? Why do I need to know this? Who decided what the right blend is anyway?

Faculty Q&A with Math Teacher Kate Bendrick

Sitting down at our cozy table in a Japanese restaurant near the school, I knew Kate was from Connecticut, so I started there.  I asked her if she grew up in an urban corner of New England, or somewhere more rural. 

“The ‘burbs,” she responded, “It was the worst of both worlds – remote enough to not have activities and social actions, but not remote enough to have peace of nature.”

“So, you like nature?” I ask.

“Not particularly.  It’s just the only up-side I can see.  No, I’m a city girl.”

“So you like it here in New York?”

Math Phobias

When I was in my early twenties, I spent a summer at a monastery with some remarkable nuns. The beekeeper had been on Wall Street, the woman in charge of milk, butter, and cheese had been a lawyer. I was wildly impressed at the wide range of accomplishments this cheese expert laid in front of me (don’t forget prayers in Gregorian chant seven times a day). And yet, despite all her life experience, she confessed a complete and total paralysis when faced with math.

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