"One of the most irritating things about being a mathematician
in the United States is the tendency of the American educational
system to leave its students convinced they hate mathematics, when
they haven't actually seen any."
If the assertion that students 'haven't seen any math'
confuses you, the paragraph continues, "The 'mathematics' curriculum,
up through high school, and all too often through the first years of
college, when it is not practical to choose among courses, consists
all too largely of rote unexplained drill, first through the four
arithmetical operations, and then through a sort of higher arithmetic,
ending up with calculus." This is better explained in the rest
of the entry.