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.

Bogged Down

It’s kind of amazing. After last week of getting completely, unfuctionably drained, I’ve been very cautious about my actions and how much I take on. I’ve been paying more attention to how much I eat, what I eat, and when I eat (which I really should have been doing any way for how much I preach about nutrition), how much rest I get, and how I allot myself homework time.

My schedule, as mentioned before, it’s pretty insane so far this quarter. I have two classes on opposite sides of campus back to back, and I used the full ten minutes between each class to get to the other, and only just make it. My math teacher is a poor communicator in that she doesn’t tell us what chapter or module she’s lecturing on at the beginning of the class, and the home work that is posted online doesn’t have dates on it, so I really don’t know where we are. Thankfully, she did a recap yesterday and let us know what we had covered. I was quite grateful for that. I was two modules behind on homework, which she collects at random, so I can’t use that as a way of figuring out where we’re up to, either.

Ok, so this is from the Never Ending Story, but I feel it depicts accurately just how I’ve been feeling

I have been working every day in the Writing Center during my three hour break between classes. It’s been quiet, since there’s no assignments due so early in the quarter. Those writers I have read for were just wanting a once-over of their College letters for the Fall. However, we’ve been training and that’s been taking up some time, which is good. Once again, I have been working during my break every day except Wednesday. It too is on the opposite end of campus from the class before it. When that shift end, I march right back across campus to my last class, with fifteen minutes, at least, to get there. On Thursdays I have my fourth class ten minutes after my regular class which takes me until 4:30. So I am at school/work solid from 8:15-4:30.

I know, I completely understand – I used to work 12 and 13 hour days, this is nothing – I know. I can hear my past self telling me to quit my whining. But it is completely different in school. You’re not doing one task. You’re switching gears every couple of hour, as well as hauling a 30lb backpack all over the place. It’s very mentally straining. My brain goes from French to Math to writing to Historical Language –  and then I get home and have to do the homework which takes me back to all of those things again. It’s exhausting – and I’m only getting paid for three hours of it.

Any way, The moral of my story – of my whining really – is that yesterday I got all caught up on my Math homework, thanks to my Wednesday of not working during my three hour break. Granted, it took the entire three hours just to do the one module, but last night’s homework was pretty short in comparison, so I was able to get through it in half the time.

I cannot wait to be done with math. Don’t get me wrong – I have complete respect for numbers, I love their team effort and it’s fun to understand their language, but I need a break.!

The Math Problem

As mentioned in My Last Entry, and another entry earlier, I had a hard time in my Math 99 class. While I had a 101% in that class prior to the final, I didn’t do very well on the final, being able to answer only 62% of the questions. That was the most I had hoped to achieve, which would pass me, but not with an A. Once she posted the weight of the final – though hadn’t put in the test scores (so basically just marked 0% until she got them graded), it dropped my grade from a 101% to a 73%. That was the weight of the final.

Granted, even if I failed it, I would still be passing the class, yes? Well, between my midterm (that I got a 90% on) and my final, I had to average 70% between the two of them, and get an overall grade of 73% to pass the class. I have been nervous for days. I have been so nervous and upset, in fact, that I emailed my student counselor asking what actions I could take. I feel like we weren’t given the proper tools to be prepared for the difficulty level of that test, and it was unfair. I’d actually like to see how other students fared as well, though no one’s speaking on the forum any more.

Late last night, finally, the grade was posted.

math99

I got a 75% on my Final. That is the lowest grade I have gotten on a test since I’ve returned to school. Yet some how, magically – it resulted in a 93% overall grade??? I’m not complaining, not one bit – especially since in the math department, a 92% or higher constitutes as an A. But how the hell I did it, I have no idea.

I am grateful. Very, very grateful.

Sudden Stop with a Sudden Drop

study

As per usual for the end of quarters, or even during the mid terms – There was a lot of frantic rushing to get things done. I spent 15 hours in one day working on my final essay for my British Literature class, which turned out to be 14 pages of pure rubbish (Well, I consider it rubbish – I didn’t get a lot of my ideas that I wanted into it. At the end of the day though, it was only supposed to be 3 pages so….who knows), spent a great many hours studying for my math Final (the worry of which you can read about here), as well as verbal rehearsal for my French Final. The last few days have been all go and all adrenaline, and then when it was over…It was over.

My last final was French, which finished at 10:30 in the morning, and afterwhich I was free. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I told myself I had all these goals and yet, I couldn’t focus on any one of them. For a while, I opted for writing, though only got 300 words in before I realized I really didn’t know what I was writing about. I went home for a good long nap – very much needed after the 8 hours of sleep spread out through three days.

After…I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I had adjusted to the level of stress. I had adjusted to the luxury of lounging since I knew I had to take it when I could due to the amount of to-do on my plate. I am so used to having tasks to do, ready at hand, that I can pick from any one of them, and then last night, I had nothing. Today, I have nothing.

Just over 24 hours out of the quarter and I’m already bored! How can that be???

So, to treat myself, I went to breakfast at my favorite place in Bellingham, the Old Town Cafe, where I could have vegetarian biscuits and gravy with a side of tofu (so beautiful), then meandered to visit my friend at the Stone Moon, an occult/pagan shop, and ended up staying there for a couple hours.

Then I headed back to the college.

I know how it sounds. But it’s not like that…not entirely like that. I went because I could finally sell back my math book (that’s a good sign, it means I still some how managed to get an A in that class, a rant I will rant about later). I’ve had that book for three quarters – I’m not going to lie, I’m a little attached to it. It functioned as my math 97, 98 and 99 book, which was lovely, and now It’s gone. I never used the activation code in there that allowed me to get to the videos, so that should have worked towards its return value. However, I got $23 for it. There’s not a whole lot of money in returned math books. I probably should have sold it online.

So now I sit, in the library at the college, writing, wondering just what on earth to do with myself. It’s so peaceful, so quiet. I really do enjoy this library. It’s funny, when I was a Running Start Student, the library here intimidated the hell out of me. I don’t know why, but it did. I think it’s because I thought that all books were only allowed in the library, and you couldn’t check any out for more than a couple hours. Though that only pertains to text books.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the next five weeks. I’m kind of nervous to be honest.

Trying to stay positive

Rough. I had it, I understood everything that was going to be on my math test that was in the book this weekend. I took awesome notes. I made an awesome 3×5 note card, I took the practice test/review three times – TODAY, and I still failed my math final.
No, this isn’t me being a Debbie doubter, I honestly couldn’t answer a large chunk of the questions and had to leave the slot blank.
I have no idea how to graph a negative logarithm because the book never went over that. I don’t know how to turn a g(x) equation into a logarithmic graph when it’s not given to me in logarithmic form. The questions were thrice as difficult than anything on the review. Why would the review as well as the practice problems not be a reflection of the level of difficulty in the test? Especially given that this is an online math class as well, so it’s all self-study.
If I got every answer I put down correct on that test, then I stand to get a 62%.
There’s the possibility of a saving grace. Through participation points I’m at a 101% so far. With how much the test is worth weighed against everything else, I could get a 0 on it and still pass with an A. The stipulation though is that in order to pass the class, I have to average a test score of 70% between my midterm and my final. With my (possible) 62% score from tonight, that would put my average between the two tests at a 73%. So I really only a small amount of wiggle room.
However, I am determined to feel inspired instead of defeated – which is excruciatingly difficult to do.
If I get less than a satisfactory grade in this class then I will simply take it again next quarter and get my A which will override whatever I get this quarter.
I had more umph for this entry before I got home. I need to move out. This place is distracting and restricting in many ways.

Finals Week Relief

My finals weeks got a lot less hectic, which is extremely nice. Initially I thought it was all review yesterday, then today part one of my French final and then my math final, along with extra hours in the Writing center (since that’s what happened last week), then the second part of my French final tomorrow, extra hours in the Writing Center and then finish my essay and turn it in by midnight and be done.

Well, turns out that not only are extra hours not needed in the Writing Center today (though, it could change once I get in for my shift, who knows!) but for some odd reason, there is no French class today, and thus tomorrow is the first day of the French exam.

This leaves me an extra our this morning to work on my essay (as you can see I’m doing), and then I have all afternoon after my shift to ensure I know enough of my Math test to pass it before I take it this evening at 5:30pm…I might have to take a nap somewhere in there.

Thank goodness for small favors during what I thought was going to be a painfully short Finals week!

Nearing the End of the Quarter

The days are coming to a close on Fall Quarter.

For some odd reason I consider Fall Quarter to be my first “real” quarter – which of course makes absolutely no sense. I think it’s purely the programming in my head that the school year begins in fall, and thus the two quarters previously have just been a warm up.

Somehow, I am surviving my online math class –  how, I haven’t a clue, and I suppose I shouldn’t speak too soon seeing as I haven’t taken my finals left.

Our school is the only school that decided to alter their year by a week or two. As a result, this week, the week of Thanksgiving, we are only in school today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday), then have the rest of the week off for the holiday, then next week is finals week, and we only have school for three of those five days – and then five weeks off. Five weeks off – that’s far far FAR too much time over these dreary winter months. I’m certain I’ll become an alcoholic during that time out of sheer boredom.

The antibiotics are helping my tooth a lot. I hardly need to take the Hydrocodone – if at all (and I prefer not to as it makes me clench my jaw…guess why that’s a bummer). Plus since I get all loopy, I can’t take it while I’m at school or work any way, so it’s just easier to stick to the over-the-counter pain killers any way. I don’t think I have every looked forward to a dentist visit so much – especially knowing they’ll be removing part of my face! Well, granted, half the tooth is already gone any way (hence the pain), but it’ll be nice knowing the rest of it will be out. After that, I get to pinch my pennies to save up for the other three wisdom teeth to come out to prevent any more of this nonsense.

This is really just a quick update to relieve some of my stress. This quarter has been infinitely easier than last quarter – aside from the logarithms – those were painful, and for that I am grateful. I am shocked at how quickly I’m finding French creeping into my daily vocabulary and thoughts. Introduction to British Literature has been something that I’ve enjoyed, though rarely when I’m in the class proper. It’s more of after a good mull of the day’s discussions that I appreciate it. My teacher is lovely, and clearly has a passion for what she does, and is great at what she does as well. I would like to consider her as a potential mentor along with my formal English teacher.

That’s another thing – I do have to pick a mentor. I am officially in the honors program at school, and next quarter will be taking four classes to fulfil my seminar requirement. In a few days I’ll get up the gumption to sign up for Pi Theta Kappa as well (I have to put the fee on my credit card due to my dental expenses, and I’m trying so hard not to use that thing), which will qualify me for scholarships for which I’ll begin applying for shortly after.

Some good news, along the lines of my wanting to get into my top-pick school – I finally found out what the requirements are to get in for Americans, and it almost makes me want to laugh for all the effort I’ve been putting in – they just want a 3.3 GPA. That’s it.

Well, it says that’s it, but I’m not certain that I trust it. So, I will continue doing my best, making my grades sparkle as well as my resume. That way I can apply to a few different school and hopefully have my pick. That there is a shocking notion to me. But that is a musing for another day.

For now, I need to take my next antibiotic and go to bed. For some unknown reason I am resigned to rise at 5 tomorrow morning – perhaps to get in some French practice, perhaps to start on my final essay. Or maybe I’ll give those infuriating logarithms a gloss over so that I am more mentally prepared for my final in a week.

Adue