Pre-Calculus Blues

Thank goodness for the sun. If it hadn’t given me that day to just realized that I was having a little mini rough patch, I’m not certain how well I’d be stomaching the idea of next quarter.

Math is really getting on top of me. It’s not that I can’t do it, but it’s that I get easily confused with the math teach. I do in fact like her teaching style, I like that she will show us the Proofs of why something is so. However, I don’t like the reliance of WAMAPS, the website that has our quizzes on it. She uses other quizzes that other teachers have written, with problems we haven’t been shown how to do, and then we get marked down for not being able to do them (though, in all fairness, usually calls her out on it and she walks us through it). Sometimes she doesn’t know how to do them.

It’s the height of frustration.

Last week (or maybe it was the week before? It’s all becoming a blur now), we had a test that she wrote the night before the day of. It was seven pages. Seven pages of tedious math to complete in 50 minutes. The math wasn’t hard, I knew how to do it, but physically writing out all the steps was time consuming. At the end of the my second problem (well, problem two part D), she called the half way point of our time. I began to panic, seeing the four pages I had yet to get to. I began darting to the easiest ones, the ones that didn’t take many minutes to get done, so I could come back to them.

I, along with the vast majority of the class, didn’t have a chance to finish the test. She realized her fault, and promised she would find a way to make it up to us.

When I got my test back, I had a shocking 49/77 – purely from unanswered questions. The first three pages I did manage to complete had full marks, and were perfect. You can see the exact point where my panic set in and I began rushing. When she handed back the tests, she said she had a plan, and would let us know at the end of class. She didn’t. She waited until the end of the week, after our heads were filled with other math – the beginning of logarithms (oh yes, that old noise) before she revealed her master plan. She gave us two problems, two equations to graph. Difficult they were, yes. I managed to get through them. She stressed that she wanted them neat, pretty, on graphing paper – they would lose points if they were messy. Oh yeah, and they were only ten points. This stress and work would only get me ten points toward my D of a test.

I was quite furious. Should I manage to get the entirety of the points, my test grade will only rise to a C, and I don’t think that’s adequate. There is a kid in my class that I’ve befriended who – up until recently – I thought was better at this stuff than I am. I think he thought the same of me. Turns out we’re about on par with each other. However, he was slower on the test and didn’t make it as far. His grade was lower.

So the moral of the story – this math class is deterring me. I seem to have had this problem since math 98. I keep blaming it on my teacher too. Math 98 was the one I had during the summer quarter that printed out our Fill-In-the-Blank notes, which did little for my learning ability. The next math I had was last quarter, which was the online math class. That was rough, and again, I did not agree with my teacher. She did similar things – put up quizzes that she may or may not have looked at that contained problems that we hadn’t been shown to do (in fact, the problem I had with one of the quizzes most recently contained THE SAME problem I couldn’t figure out on one of the quizzes from last quarter. I was brought up in class, and she said she’d take it off, it was unfair since we hadn’t been taught it yet).

I wonder if it’s me. I like math. I do do well in math, over all. But, perhaps my struggling isn’t necessarily my teachers, but me, instead.

As always, if I get anything less than an A, I’m going to take the class over again. I think that I can salvage this though, some how.

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