I have always prided myself on being quite adept with symbology, (“…symbolism, what is the ssssssssymbolism there”…ah, Special Agent Smecker), but since the first time I was introduced to the concept of greater than/less than concepts, they still elude me. And one of my favorite teachers ever, Mrs. Lindsay at Cair-Paravel Latin School in Topeka, Kansas taught me a trick so that I could do my schoolwork without having to fail.
The trick is this: see each symbol as a shark mouth that wants to eat dinner with one bite instead of having to catch a bunch of other fish just for the same nutritious values. I even drew little teeth in order to get the concept down in my head. To this day it takes me a little bit longer when I see a mathematical equation with those symbols, but now I can still get the concept in my head because of a great teacher who took the time to teach me a different way to look at a problem. Thank you, ma’am.