Achieving Confidence

In this Issue:

  1. Puzzle of the Issue
  2. Math Humour
  3. Our News
  4. Main article: Achieving Confidence
  5. Puzzle Answer!

1. Puzzle of the Issue:

See if you can figure this one out and challenge your family and friends (answer at the bottom)

How can Canadians put 6 loonies into 3 change purses so there is an odd number of loonies in each change purse?

2. Math Humour:

A math professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.

Q: What do you get when you add 2 apples to 3 apples?
A: Answer: A senior high school math problem.

“Do you love your math more than me?”
“Of course not, dear – I love you much more.”
“Then prove it!”
“OK… Let R be the set of all lovable objects…”

3. Our News

You can now sign up for Hobby Science Club spring 2013 program, which is called Eureka! Explore With Physics. It offers an inspiring introduction to Physics with plenty of fun hands-on projects and experiments. It consists of 8 weekly 1hr meetings for children 9 to 12 years old. You can learn more here: Hobby Science Club flyer. Number of spots is limited, so do not wait to sign up!

Get Inspired Tutoring is excited to launch the new website, check it out:

4. Achieving Confidence

Self-confidence starts to develop very early in childhood and influences how we feel about ourselves, how likely we are to achieve our goals, stand for our values and be successful in life. It helps us to be happy! This is why acquiring confidence would be my personal reason number one for getting some extra help for my child and for myself.

Confidence often is soaked when we struggle with something and fail. When we see that others are better at it or have no problems at all, we start feeling inadequate, scared or stupid. And at some point we can start being less confident about ourselves. And too often struggles with math and science become the reason students develop low confidence and take it into adulthood.

Math might not be for everybody. But if it becomes a problem, it can lead to even more serious problems. Compare self-confidence of two students in relation to their feelings about math:

The First one says: Math? It is so hard and scary that I hate even thinking about it and going to class. I feel like an idiot and dread every test because I might fail.

The Second one says: Math? I don’t really like it. I am planning to study history and social science and will need little math. But I have no problem with it, I could do it if I wanted to.

The second student is not a big fan of math and will most likely succeed in another field. But she is not scared of math, feels pretty confident about her abilities and herself. The first student clearly simply needs some help. He found math hard because some concepts were not clear, then started feeling scared of it, since those abstract concepts just started accumulating as a snowball. Feeling bad about himself for a long time will sure weaken his confidence.

From my personal experience, I was pretty good at math and all other subjects, but not in sports! I dreaded gym and was not agile at all (still am not so good). As an adult, after graduating from University, I decided to put an end to this and signed up for character dance lessons. I was practising 6 hours a week on average (lots of pain and fun).

And in half a year I told my instructor that thanks to her, I had no fear or struggle getting up on the roof! As a consulting engineer, I had to climb roofs to inspect equipment, and was I scared at first! But after getting more agile, confident and strong, I was flying up to the roof and really enjoying this! My instructor could not believe that dance lessons could have helped with this, but I know that for sure.

So, as today’s advice for parents and anybody in general, it is a good idea to determine our struggles and weak spots and act upon them. Whether it is math, sport, fear of water or anything else, some extra help will boost confidence and help in all other aspects of life.

Contact Yulia Belov if you or somebody else you know needs help with math, chemistry or physics, I will be happy to solve your worries and struggles: (519) 270 0916 or

5. Puzzle Answer!

(1) (2(3)) or (2(1)) (3)

Put 1 in the first purse, and put 3 in the second purse. Then put 2 in the third purse and put either the first or the second purse inside the third purse.

Get Inspired Tutoring offers chemistry, physics and math tutoring in Meaford, Thornbury, Collingwood and Owen Sound. We help students improve grades, gain confidence and success. We help parents gain comfort knowing that struggles with school studies are over and their children are set for a great future.

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4 comments on “Achieving Confidence
  1. gerry lowry says:

    How can Canadians put 6 loonies into 3 change purses so there is an odd number of loonies in each change purse?

    Unfortunately, your answer does not meet the definition of your problem, i.e., ONLY two of the three change purses contain an ODD number of coins … the THIRD purse, regardless what you do with it, contains TWO coins.

    Note carefully that your problem definition clearly states that EACH change purse must have an ODD number of coins.

    Your incorrect answer could be written as:

    (1(2)), (3)
    (1), (3(2))

    The embedded (2) in each of the above rows breaks your solution.


    P.S.: Congratulations on your newest student!!!

    • amRsywT says:

      Gerry, this is one of those “outside the box” questions. Once we read the question we tend to automatically assume that “each purse must have an odd number of coins” means “each purse must have an odd number of coins ONLY COUNTING THE COINS DIRECTLY IN THAT PURSE”, the answer, however, exists if we assume that “each purse must have an odd number of coins COUNTING ALL COINS INSIDE IT”. And you placed your coins and purses incorrectly, here are possible solutions:
      (1) (2(3)) or (2(1)) (3) so that you never end up with (2) purse, there is always an odd-number purse inside.


  2. gerry lowry says:

    Mea culpa.

    i misunderstood your numerical notation in you original answer: 1 3 5 or 1 3 3 ~~ sorry, but for me, it was unclear.

    your numerical notation does not clearly show the solution because the position of the remaining two coins is not clear.

    Your revised solution is much clearer:

    (1) (2(3)) or
    (2(1)) (3)

    Your use of parentheses in your revised solution clearly shows the purse with two coins as being the outer purse.

    Leo, in your defence, the part of your original solution that is given in words as a procedure more is more clear than the “1 3 5 or 1 3 3” notation, i.e.:

    (A) Put 1 in the first purse, and
    (B) put 3 in the second purse.
    (C) Then put 2 in the third purse and
    (D) put either the first or the second purse
    inside the third purse.

    Mea culpa; had i read your words more carefully, i would have noticed that the purse with two coins was the outer purse.

    Good outside the box problem.


    • amRsywT says:

      Good catch, Gerry! I was concentrating too much trying to solve the problem, so unintentionally overlooked the way the answer is written. Corrected now. Thank you!

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